Our Peer Review Process
Peer review is a critical factor in promoting the rigor and high quality of scientific research. The entire scientific community benefits when the peer-review process is timely, thorough, and balanced. The editors of Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology (CTG) greatly appreciate the extensive contributions that reviewers make to the Journal. We hope that the guidelines described below will help facilitate peer review as a conversation between authors and reviewers, and as an essential element of the publication process.
In January 2022, CTG moved to a double-blind peer review process. Manuscripts sent for review are stripped of all identifying information so that reviewers do not know the identity of the author or their institution, and authors do not know the identity of the reviewers. Read the editorial by Editor-in-Chief Brian Jacobson and Associate Editor Eugenia Schmidt to learn more about why the Journal chose to change peer review types.
Register as a Peer Reviewer
If you would like to become a peer reviewer for CTG, register through our Editorial Manager (EM) system. Enter your contact information, institution, and country. From there, select classifications from our list so that we can match you with manuscripts sent for review. If you do not enter classifications you cannot be selected to review for the journal, so please be sure to complete this task.
Considering a Reviewer Invitation
Reviewer invitations for CTG are sent out by email from the EM system. The invitation includes information about the title and abstract of the manuscript and an indication of the time frame in which we would like to receive the review. After agreeing to review the paper, the reviewer has access to the entire manuscript excluding the title page and identifying information. We encourage reviewers to contact the editorial office at any time if they require additional information or assistance.
Once you receive an invitation from the journal, look to see if the article matches your area of expertise. Only accept if you feel you can provide a high-quality review.
Do you have a potential conflict of interest? Disclose this to the editor when you respond.
Do you have time? Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline.
Reviewers should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential. Reviewers must not publicly discuss authors’ work and must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published.
Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy/delete copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews.
Reviewers who seek assistance from a trainee or colleague in the performance of a review should acknowledge these individuals’ contributions in the written comments submitted to the editor. These individuals must maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript as outlined above. See below for recognizing a co-reviewer with the journal.
Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed. Reviewers’ comments should be constructive, honest, and polite.
If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should write in confidence to the editor.
Adhere to the standards of ethical peer review as set out in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines.
Declining A Review Invitiation
If you are unable to review a paper for the Journal, we very much appreciate suggestions for alternate reviewers who would be equally qualified to evaluate the paper. As you make these suggestions, we especially ask that you keep diversity—gender, career stage, and geography—in mind, as the ACG is committed to promoting diversity and engaging the scientific community as broadly as possible.
Reviewer Rubric for Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology
The Editors of the Journal have created a rubric to assist reviewers with evaluating articles and composing their peer review.
All reviews are scored using a rubric as described in the Instructions for Reviewers. Those reviews scoring 70 points and higher (out of a possible 100 points) make the reviewer eligible for CME credit.
Reviews returned by the assigned deadline earn 20 points. Reviews returned within 7 days post-deadline earn 10 points while those returned beyond 7 days earn 5 points.
Please be sure your review includes a discussion of:
1. Originality and/or Relevance to the field (worth 20 points)
2. Strengths of the paper (worth 20 points)
3. Weaknesses of the paper (worth 20 points)
4. Constructive/thoughtful suggestions to improve the manuscript (worth 20 points)
Table 1. Reviewer Rubrik for Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology
|Quality of Review||Maximum Points Earned|
|Originality and/or Relevance to the field||20|
|Strengths of the paper||20|
|Weaknesses of the paper||20|
|Constructive/thoughtful suggestions to improve the manuscript||20|
|Timeliness of Review|
|<7 days past deadline||10 (i.e. partial credit)|
|>7 days past deadline||5 (i.e. less partial credit|
|Total possible points (Quality of Review + Timeliness of Review)||100|
Suggestions for Reviewers
Examples of reviews and how they would be scored using the CTG rubric
Example #1: Returned 11 days after the due date
In this observational study, 99 patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE) as well as 40 control subjects were enrolled. The authors report differences in rutabaga consumption between EOE patients and controls as well as between subgroups based on history of proton pump inhibitor use
I am very worried about the composition of the control group. It is not only very small but also differs with respect to age, sex, and prior treatment status compared to EOE patients. Therefore, it is impossible to say whether differences in rutabaga consumption between EOE patients and controls are due to EOE or some of these covariates. The authors may consider recruiting more control patients in order to achieve a comparable control group.
One minor point, you should correct the spelling of “esofogus” to “esophagus” on page 5, paragraph 3.
Review score according to the rubric: 25 points (no CME credit awarded):
Originality and/or Relevance to the field (worth 20 points) = 0 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: There is no mention of other studies or how this clinical entity has been previously addressed. There is no clinical context provided or discussion of originality.
Strengths of the paper (worth 20 points) = 0 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: There are no strengths mentioned. Nearly every study has some strengths. It is helpful to the editors to highlight these to balance critical comments and aid in determining a manuscript’s overall potential impact on the field.
Weaknesses of the paper (worth 20 points) = 10 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: The small number of subjects is discussed as is the imbalance between the cases and controls. A more detailed discussion of other weaknesses (see Example #2) could have been provided.
Constructive/thoughtful suggestions to improve the manuscript (worth 20 points) = 10 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: The reviewer has offered a suggestion for how to improve the study, namely the enrollment of additional control subjects. Other suggestions for improvement could have been offered (see Example #2). Spelling errors and other minor formatting changes are managed by the journal and do not need to be highlighted by reviewers.
Timeliness (worth 20 points) = 5 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: The review was returned more than 7 days post-deadline.
Example #2: Returned one day after it was due
This is a single-center, retrospective cohort study looking at rutabaga consumption in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE) and controls. EOE is a complex allergen/inflammatory condition that often impairs swallowing. Previous studies of this disease have been exclusively focused on non-root vegetables, making this study a potentially important addition to the literature. Moreover, the subject population was racially and ethnically diverse with a good balance of the sexes and ages, an important step in ensuring broad applicability of results. The investigators relied on well-defined and objective primary and secondary endpoints and used commercially available assays with high documented accuracy. Despite these strengths, I have some concerns that should be addressed as follows:
- The study is underpowered to draw meaningful conclusions. A formal power calculation should be included, though this will likely demonstrate a need for significantly more subjects.
- There is an imbalance between the cases and controls in several key confounding variables such as age and sex. Perhaps the authors could include a larger number of subjects. If possible, a collaboration with researchers at additional sites would help with this while improving generalizability.
- There is no mention of statistical corrections for multiple comparisons. Not including the baseline demographics comparison, I count 22 t-tests between cases and controls, at least 10 logistic regressions for predictors, 22 correlations with hangnail status for controls, 14 non-linear regression models for pruritus pancreas severity, and 12 ANOVAs for astrological signs. Application of a Bonferroni correction (or some other appropriate correction) should be considered.
ADDITIONAL MAJOR CONCERNS WERE REMOVED TO SIMPLIFY THE EXAMPLE
Table 3 is duplicative with the text and may not be necessary
Review score according to the rubric: 90 points (CME credit awarded):
Originality and/or Relevance to the field (worth 20 points) = 20 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: comments included that address the originality of the study as well as why this may be relevant to the field of EOE.
Strengths of the paper (worth 20 points) = 20 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: There are several strengths mentioned that highlight thoughtfulness of design by the authors.
Weaknesses of the paper (worth 20 points) = 20 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: Several weaknesses were highlighted, but more importantly, these were provided in a respectful manner with suggestions for how to overcome these weaknesses when feasible.
Constructive/thoughtful suggestions to improve the manuscript (worth 20 points) = 20 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: The reviewer has offered a number of suggestions for how to improve the study.
Timeliness (worth 20 points) = 10 points awarded
Rationale for scoring: The review was returned within 7 days post-deadline (it would have received 20 points if returned one day earlier on the date it was due).
Tips on Accessing the Manuscript and Submitting your Review
When logging onto the Journal EM submission system, enter your username and password and click on the ‘Reviewer Login’ button. In most cases, pressing the ‘Enter’ key will log you in by default as an author—in ‘Author’ mode, the EM website will not display the manuscripts you are invited to review. If you are logged in as an Author, you can change your role on the drop down menu at the top of the EM page.
EM conducts all communication via e-mail. Therefore, when you register for the first time (as author or reviewer), or when you move your lab to a new institution, please double check the EM website to make sure that your e-mail address is updated and correct.
After you have saved your comments online, be sure to hit the ‘Proceed’ button to ensure that they are sent to the editorial office.
Several functions of the EM website (including the ability to download revised manuscripts) are blocked by most pop-up blockers, so those pop-up blockers should be turned off while you are using EM.
If you have difficulty in using the blue link (at the top of the relevant page in the PDF) to download the high-resolution version of a figure, try holding down the Shift key while clicking on the link.
The EM website preserves reviewer anonymity. Your identity as a referee is only revealed to you and the editors; it is not displayed to anyone else (e.g., other reviewers or authors).
If you are concerned that your username or password is too idiosyncratic to remember easily or that it is too simple to provide adequate security, please feel free to change either or both of them. If you have difficulty in doing so, please contact the editorial offices, and we will be glad to do it for you.
The EM website does not yet have the capacity to incorporate images or symbols into the body of a review.