Peer Review Guidelines


This guide is written to help you peer review manuscripts submitted to Dove Medical Press journals. Reading this should answer most of the queries you have and guide you in completing a peer review report in the most thorough and prompt way to ensure the paper is properly reviewed and published quickly. If you have any further queries, please submit them to our Editorial Offices.

Our philosophy on peer review

Authors have historically complained of the time it takes to get a paper published. Dove Medical Press tries hard to process papers as thoroughly, fairly and rapidly as possible. As a result, peer reviewers are asked to submit their comments within 10 business days.

All manuscripts submitted to Dove Medical Press journals are subject to single-anonymous (previously referred to as single-blind) peer review. We believe that using anonymous peer reviewers is the best way to get honest opinions on papers. Dove Medical Press requires that peer reviewers not contact authors directly. You should consider the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers before accepting to review a manuscript and throughout the peer review process.

An outline of the manuscript lifecycle, from submission to publication, can be viewed here.

Why is peer review important? 

Peer reviewers’ comments and recommendations are an essential guide to inform the editor’s decision on a manuscript. Peer review ensures that manuscripts receive unbiased critique and expert feedback, allowing authors to improve their manuscript and therefore high-quality scientific research and reviews to be published. It also helps the readers to trust the scientific integrity of the article and to make informed decisions where peer reviewer comments are available.

The Peer Reviewer

After receiving a request to peer review it is essential that peer reviewers respond in a timely fashion, particularly if they cannot do the review, to avoid unnecessarily delaying the process.

Peer reviewers should declare any conflicts of interest (seeking advice from the publisher if they are unsure), and possess sufficient knowledge in the field to perform a thorough assessment of the manuscript. You can find further information on competing interests here.

Peer reviewers must keep any information regarding the identity of the authors and the content of the manuscript confidential.

Peer review comments should be objective and constructive without being of a hostile or derogatory nature.

Peer reviewers must not enter unpublished manuscript files, images or information into public databases or tools that do not guarantee confidentiality, are accessible by the public and/or may store or use this information for their own purposes (for example, generative AI tools like ChatGPT).

Peer reviewers must not use artificial intelligence tools to generate manuscript review reports, including LLM based tools like ChatGPT.

Peer reviewers are responsible for ensuring any references included within their report are accurate and verifiable.

Further information on ethical peer review issues and conflicts of interest can be found in the COPE guidelines.


Updated 29 April 2024