Guidelines for Reviewers
Reviewer invitations are sent by email from the submission system. Use the links in the email to accept or decline.
How to accept or decline an invitation to review
Reviews must be entered in the submission system. Email the journal office if you are having trouble accessing the manuscript or entering your comments.
How to submit your review
The compiled submission PDF includes low-resolution preview images of the figures after the reference list. The function of these previews is to allow you to download the entire submission as quickly as possible. Click the link at the top of each preview page to download a high-resolution version of each figure. Links to download Supporting Information files are also available after the reference list.
You should not accept a review assignment if you have a potential competing interest, including the following:
- Prior or current collaborations with the author(s)
- You are a direct competitor
- You may have a known history of antipathy with the author(s)
- You might profit financially from the work
Please inform the editors or journal staff and recuse yourself if you feel that you are unable to offer an impartial review.
When submitting your review, you must indicate whether or not you have any competing interests.
If you are reviewing a manuscript, please aim to complete your review within 14 days. If you need more time or are unable to perform the review, please notify us immediately so that we can keep the authors informed and assign alternate reviewers if necessary.
Manuscripts must meet the criteria for publication described below. Manuscripts must also comply with our editorial and publishing policies.
Reviewers are required to treat all submitted manuscripts in strict confidence and should not share information about submissions with any other parties unless previously agreed with the editor. The involvement of a third party in the review must be declared at the time of the submission of the review.
Correspondence as part of the review process is also to be treated confidentially by all parties.
We expect that reviewers will not make use of any material or take advantage of any information they gain through the peer review process.
If you are invited to review a manuscript that you reviewed at another journal, please consider the manuscript as a new submission, taking into account that (a) it may have been revised since the last time you evaluated it, and (b) PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases’s criteria for publication may differ from those of the other journal.
When submitting your review, please note to the editor that you reviewed a previous version of the manuscript at another journal. The editors may ask you to provide your original review. Before doing so, please obtain permission from the previous journal.
To be considered for publication in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:
- Importance and relevance to researchers, practitioners, or policy makers in the field of NTDs
- Interest for researchers or practitioners outside the field
- Rigorous methodology with conclusions justified by the evidence presented
- Adherence to the highest ethical standards
The purpose of the review is to provide the Associate and Deputy Editors with an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript under consideration, and should also supply authors with explicit feedback on how to improve their papers so that they will be acceptable for publication in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Although confidential comments to the editors are respected, any remarks that might help to strengthen the paper should be directed to the authors themselves.
The best possible review would answer the following questions:
- What are the main claims of the paper and how important are they?
- Are these claims novel? If not, please specify papers that weaken the claims to the originality of this one.
- Are the claims properly placed in the context of the previous literature?
- Do the results support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?
- If a protocol is provided, for example for a randomized controlled trial, are there any important deviations from it? If so, have the authors explained adequately why the deviations occurred?
- Would any other experiments or additional information improve the paper? How much better would the paper be if this extra work was done, and how difficult would such work be to do, or to provide?
- Is this paper outstanding in its discipline? (For example, would you like to see this work presented in a seminar at your hospital or university? Do you feel these results need to be incorporated in your next general lecture on the subject?) If yes, what makes it outstanding? If not, why not?
- Who would find this paper of interest? Why?
- If the paper is considered unsuitable for publication in its present form, does the study itself show sufficient enough potential that the authors should be encouraged to resubmit a revised version?
Editing reviewers’ reports
The editors and PLOS staff do not edit any comments made by reviewers that have been intended to be read by the authors unless the language is deemed inappropriate for professional communication or the comments contain information considered confidential. Such remarks should be reserved for the confidential section of the review form, which is intended to be read by the editors only.
In their comments to authors, reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language. On the other hand, authors should not confuse frank and perhaps even robust language with unfair criticism.
Reviewers are anonymous by default. Reviewers’ identities are not revealed to authors or to other reviewers unless reviewers specifically request to be identified by signing their names at the end of their comments.
On receipt of all reviewer comments, Associate Editors, in consultation with other members of the Board and with the Editor-in-Chief or Deputy Editor, weigh all comments before rendering a decision. Based on the review comments and potentially further consultation among other editors, a decision is rendered by the Associate Editor and co-signed by the Editor-in-Chief, Deputy, or one of the Section Editors, who will send the decision to the corresponding author.
If reviewers appear to disagree fundamentally, the editors may choose to share all the reviews with each of the reviewers and by this means elicit additional comment that may help the editors to make a decision. That said, decisions are not necessarily made according to majority rule. Instead, the editors evaluate the recommendations and comments of the reviewers alongside comments by the authors and material that may not have been made available to those reviewers.
We send reviewers’ comments along with the decision letter to all reviewers of that manuscript. If reviewers have identified themselves, this information will be passed on to other reviewers.
Reviewers who may have offered an opinion not in accordance with the final decision should not feel that their recommendation was not duly considered and their service not properly appreciated. Experts often disagree, and it is the job of the editorial team to make a decision.
When a paper has been revised in response to the review, or when authors appeal against a decision, we often ask the reviewers to offer additional comments. We request that reviewers make themselves available to provide such follow-up advice. We are nevertheless aware that reviewers do not wish to be involved in extended discussions over papers, and our goal is to keep such consultations to a minimum while still allowing authors a fair hearing.
Occasionally, editors recommend after peer review that a particular article is more suitable for another PLOS journal. If the authors choose to pursue that option, we transfer the manuscript and the reviews to the other journal. We expect that reviewers for any PLOS journal are willing to have their reviews considered by the editors of another PLOS journal.
Editors decide which experts to invite to review the papers they are handling. The best way to show your interest in reviewing for PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases is to 1) contact an editor on our board and to 2) ensure that you have an account in our submission system where our editors can find you. You may also email the journal for assistance.
- Look through our list of editors to identify the ones who are in your field of research, and email them with your interest and a brief summary of your expertise. We cannot guarantee that an editor will invite you to review for the journal after contacting them.
- If you don't have an account with us, please sign up in our submission system so that editors can search and find your name in the database. If you do have an account, please ensure that your details and classifications are complete and up-to-date. If you don’t remember whether you already have an account, click Send Login Details on the home screen to access the Account Finder for assistance.
If you have questions or concerns about the manuscript you are reviewing, or if you need assistance submitting the review, please email us.