Peer Review History

Original SubmissionNovember 25, 2022
Decision Letter - Stefan Grosek, Editor

PONE-D-22-32383Status exploration and analysis of regional hospice and palliative care networks in Germany: A protocol for a mixed-methods studyPLOS ONE

Dear Dr. Schwabe,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to PLOS ONE. After careful consideration, we feel that it has merit but does not fully meet PLOS ONE’s publication criteria as it currently stands. Therefore, we invite you to submit a revised version of the manuscript that addresses the points raised during the review process.

ACADEMIC EDITOR: 

  • Please find some minor comments from the 2nd reviewer which need to be addressed in the article.
  • No conflicts between both reviews were found.
Please submit your revised manuscript by May 12 2023 11:59PM. If you will need more time than this to complete your revisions, please reply to this message or contact the journal office at plosone@plos.org. When you're ready to submit your revision, log on to https://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/ and select the 'Submissions Needing Revision' folder to locate your manuscript file.

Please include the following items when submitting your revised manuscript:

  • A rebuttal letter that responds to each point raised by the academic editor and reviewer(s). You should upload this letter as a separate file labeled 'Response to Reviewers'.
  • A marked-up copy of your manuscript that highlights changes made to the original version. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Revised Manuscript with Track Changes'.
  • An unmarked version of your revised paper without tracked changes. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Manuscript'.
If you would like to make changes to your financial disclosure, please include your updated statement in your cover letter. Guidelines for resubmitting your figure files are available below the reviewer comments at the end of this letter.

If applicable, we recommend that you deposit your laboratory protocols in protocols.io to enhance the reproducibility of your results. Protocols.io assigns your protocol its own identifier (DOI) so that it can be cited independently in the future. For instructions see: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines#loc-laboratory-protocols. Additionally, PLOS ONE offers an option for publishing peer-reviewed Lab Protocol articles, which describe protocols hosted on protocols.io. Read more information on sharing protocols at https://plos.org/protocols?utm_medium=editorial-email&utm_source=authorletters&utm_campaign=protocols.

We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript.

Kind regards,

Stefan Grosek, Ph.D., M.D.,

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Journal Requirements:

When submitting your revision, we need you to address these additional requirements.

1. Please ensure that your manuscript meets PLOS ONE's style requirements, including those for file naming. The PLOS ONE style templates can be found at 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/file?id=wjVg/PLOSOne_formatting_sample_main_body.pdf and 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/file?id=ba62/PLOSOne_formatting_sample_title_authors_affiliations.pdf

2. We note that the grant information you provided in the ‘Funding Information’ and ‘Financial Disclosure’ sections do not match. 

When you resubmit, please ensure that you provide the correct grant numbers for the awards you received for your study in the ‘Funding Information’ section.

3. Please review your reference list to ensure that it is complete and correct. If you have cited papers that have been retracted, please include the rationale for doing so in the manuscript text, or remove these references and replace them with relevant current references. Any changes to the reference list should be mentioned in the rebuttal letter that accompanies your revised manuscript. If you need to cite a retracted article, indicate the article’s retracted status in the References list and also include a citation and full reference for the retraction notice.

Additional Editor Comments:

Dear Authors

Please find some minor comments from the 2nd reviewer to be implemnted in your article. Otherwise, this is well written and concise article on status exploration and analysis of regional hospice and palliative care network in Germany.

I'm happy to receive your reply as soon as possible.

Kind regards

[Note: HTML markup is below. Please do not edit.]

Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. Does the manuscript provide a valid rationale for the proposed study, with clearly identified and justified research questions?

The research question outlined is expected to address a valid academic problem or topic and contribute to the base of knowledge in the field.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

********** 

2. Is the protocol technically sound and planned in a manner that will lead to a meaningful outcome and allow testing the stated hypotheses?

The manuscript should describe the methods in sufficient detail to prevent undisclosed flexibility in the experimental procedure or analysis pipeline, including sufficient outcome-neutral conditions (e.g. necessary controls, absence of floor or ceiling effects) to test the proposed hypotheses and a statistical power analysis where applicable. As there may be aspects of the methodology and analysis which can only be refined once the work is undertaken, authors should outline potential assumptions and explicitly describe what aspects of the proposed analyses, if any, are exploratory.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

********** 

3. Is the methodology feasible and described in sufficient detail to allow the work to be replicable?

Descriptions of methods and materials in the protocol should be reported in sufficient detail for another researcher to reproduce all experiments and analyses. The protocol should describe the appropriate controls, sample size calculations, and replication needed to ensure that the data are robust and reproducible.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

********** 

4. Have the authors described where all data underlying the findings will be made available when the study is complete?

The PLOS Data policy requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception, at the time of publication. The data should be provided as part of the manuscript or its supporting information, or deposited to a public repository. For example, in addition to summary statistics, the data points behind means, medians and variance measures should be available. If there are restrictions on publicly sharing data—e.g. participant privacy or use of data from a third party—those must be specified.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

********** 

5. Is the manuscript presented in an intelligible fashion and written in standard English?

PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. Any typographical or grammatical errors should be corrected at revision, so please note any specific errors here.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

********** 

6. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above and, if applicable, provide comments about issues authors must address before this protocol can be accepted for publication. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about research or publication ethics.

You may also provide optional suggestions and comments to authors that they might find helpful in planning their study.

(Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #1: the text is well written. Interesting for the readership. The text is well written. Interesting for the readership. Objective clearly set, well presented, good discussion with references

Reviewer #2: The authors present the protocol of a study examinng hospice - and specialist palliative care networks. The topic is clearly relevant for the establishment of sustainable, efficient and effective collaborations and thus, a state-of-the art cross-sectional care for patients with advanced and life-limiting diseases.

The manuscript is written in a concise, comprehensive and comprehensible manner. Syntax, semantics and wording do not leave room for improvement, but please note, that I am not a native speaker.

The relevant litarature has obviously been researched extensively and choosen meaningfully. A short search performed on my own did not yield any further relevant literature, as far as I can see on first sight.

The methodology is impeccable and checking vs equator network guidelines I could not find major shortcomings.

Yet I have two suggestions:

a) The authors write about "palliative care", also in the title. I believe it should be made clear, that this is rather "specialist palliative care" or "joint general and specialist palliative care". Please consider rewording after discussion in your author group

b) The definition of "hospice" is differing between different international health care settings. You may consider clarifying this not also in the introduction, but even though this is iterative, in the discussion. Please feel free to ignore this suggestion, if your author group (at least the key- authors) agrees to do so after thourough discussion.

********** 

7. PLOS authors have the option to publish the peer review history of their article (what does this mean?). If published, this will include your full peer review and any attached files.

If you choose “no”, your identity will remain anonymous but your review may still be made public.

Do you want your identity to be public for this peer review? For information about this choice, including consent withdrawal, please see our Privacy Policy.

Reviewer #1: No

Reviewer #2: No

**********

[NOTE: If reviewer comments were submitted as an attachment file, they will be attached to this email and accessible via the submission site. Please log into your account, locate the manuscript record, and check for the action link "View Attachments". If this link does not appear, there are no attachment files.]

While revising your submission, please upload your figure files to the Preflight Analysis and Conversion Engine (PACE) digital diagnostic tool, https://pacev2.apexcovantage.com/. PACE helps ensure that figures meet PLOS requirements. To use PACE, you must first register as a user. Registration is free. Then, login and navigate to the UPLOAD tab, where you will find detailed instructions on how to use the tool. If you encounter any issues or have any questions when using PACE, please email PLOS at figures@plos.org. Please note that Supporting Information files do not need this step.

Attachments
Attachment
Submitted filename: PONE-D-22-32383.pdf
Revision 1

In the introduction, it was added that the networks include all providers of general and specialised palliative care in the outpatient and inpatient sector.

In the introduction, the term "hospice" in Germany was explained and the hospice care structures were described, referring to the S3- Leitlinie “Palliativmedizin für Patienten mit einer nicht-heilbaren Krebserkrankung”

Attachments
Attachment
Submitted filename: 2023_04_11 Response to Reviewers_HOPAN.docx
Decision Letter - Stefan Grosek, Editor

Status exploration and analysis of regional hospice and palliative care networks in Germany: A protocol for a mixed-methods study

PONE-D-22-32383R1

Dear Dr. Schwabe,

We’re pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been judged scientifically suitable for publication and will be formally accepted for publication once it meets all outstanding technical requirements.

Within one week, you’ll receive an e-mail detailing the required amendments. When these have been addressed, you’ll receive a formal acceptance letter and your manuscript will be scheduled for publication.

An invoice for payment will follow shortly after the formal acceptance. To ensure an efficient process, please log into Editorial Manager at http://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/, click the 'Update My Information' link at the top of the page, and double check that your user information is up-to-date. If you have any billing related questions, please contact our Author Billing department directly at authorbilling@plos.org.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please notify them about your upcoming paper to help maximize its impact. If they’ll be preparing press materials, please inform our press team as soon as possible -- no later than 48 hours after receiving the formal acceptance. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information, please contact onepress@plos.org.

Kind regards,

Stefan Grosek, Ph.D., M.D.,

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Additional Editor Comments (optional):

Reviewers' comments:

Formally Accepted
Acceptance Letter - Stefan Grosek, Editor

PONE-D-22-32383R1

Status exploration and analysis of regional hospice and palliative care networks in Germany: A protocol for a mixed-methods study

Dear Dr. Schwabe:

I'm pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLOS ONE. Congratulations! Your manuscript is now with our production department.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please let them know about your upcoming paper now to help maximize its impact. If they'll be preparing press materials, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact onepress@plos.org.

If we can help with anything else, please email us at plosone@plos.org.

Thank you for submitting your work to PLOS ONE and supporting open access.

Kind regards,

PLOS ONE Editorial Office Staff

on behalf of

Professor Stefan Grosek

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Open letter on the publication of peer review reports

PLOS recognizes the benefits of transparency in the peer review process. Therefore, we enable the publication of all of the content of peer review and author responses alongside final, published articles. Reviewers remain anonymous, unless they choose to reveal their names.

We encourage other journals to join us in this initiative. We hope that our action inspires the community, including researchers, research funders, and research institutions, to recognize the benefits of published peer review reports for all parts of the research system.

Learn more at ASAPbio .