The Egyptian Journal of Medical Education
Reviewer Policies and Guidelines
1. About EJME, Egy J Med Edu
EJME is the leading Egyptian open-access Medical Education journal, providing an innovative and influential venue for research and comment on the major challenges to human health education nation- and world-wide. We specifically seek to publish papers which have relevance across a range of settings and that address the major determinants of health education in teaching methods, curriculum development, assessment techniques, continuing education, health administration education, telemedicine.
Within these priority areas we make decisions based on whether papers are likely to directly and substantially affect educational practice or public health policy, or have implications of broad general interest for the direction of future. In addition, we seek to publish papers that address important topics in the medical education research.
2. Criteria for Publication
Manuscripts should represent a substantial advance in medical education science and practice within the scope of the journal as noted above in terms of:
Importance to researchers or practitioners in the field
Interest for researchers or practitioners outside the field
Rigorous methodology with substantial evidence for its conclusions
Conducted according to the highest ethical standards
3. The Review Process
Submitted manuscripts will be assigned to one of the EJME editors. If the paper is deemed to be within the scope of the journal with regard to content and of a minimum quality an academic with expertise in the relevant area, is then also assigned to the paper. The editor and editorial board member will promptly assess the manuscript and will decide if it is likely to meet the requirement of providing a major advance in a particular field and describing a sufficient body of work to support that claim; if so, it will be sent out for peer review. The editors then together make a decision based on the reviewers' comments. There are several types of decision possible:
Accept the manuscript as submitted
Accept it with minor revision
Invite the authors to submit a major revision of the manuscript before a final decision is reached
Reject, typically because it does not fit the criteria outlined above of originality, importance to the field, cross-discipline interest, or sound methodology
When differences of opinion occur between reviewers, the editors weigh all comments and arrive at a balanced decision based on all comments. To assist in this process, the reviewer should provide the editors with as much information as possible. A review that clearly outlines reasons both for and against publication is therefore of as much, or even more, value as one that makes a direct recommendation.
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. The editors then assess the recommendations and comments of the reviewers alongside comments by the authors and material that may not have been made available to those reviewers.
When a paper has been revised in response to comments by reviewers or when authors feel their argument has been misconstrued in review, we ask reviewers to offer additional comments on the revised or contested manuscript. 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 we keep such consultations to a minimum while still allowing authors a fair hearing.
4. Reviewer Selection
We decide on reviewers for a particular manuscript based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations of authors and academics, and the editor's own knowledge of a reviewer. The EJME is always adding to its database for national and international reviewers.
As part of our editorial procedure, we regularly confer with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that even these initial messages or conversations contain confidential information.
5. Writing the Review
The purpose of the review is to provide the 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 EJME. 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?
6. Other Questions for Consideration
In the case of manuscripts deemed worthy of consideration, we would appreciate additional advice from the reviewer on the following:
Is the manuscript clearly enough written so that it is understandable to non-specialists? If not, how could it be improved? (Please concentrate on matters of organization and content and not on grammatical or spelling errors that will be corrected by our copyeditor after acceptance.)
Have the authors provided adequate proof for their claims without overselling them?
Have the authors cited the previous literature appropriately?
Does the paper offer enough details of its methodology that its experiments or its analyses could be reproduced?
EJME encourages authors to publish detailed methods as supporting information online. Do any particular methods used in the manuscript warrant such publication?
7. Peer Review for Journal articles
The best possible review of an article in EJME would consider a different set of questions:
Relevance and interest
Is the article relevant and of interest to a general international medical educators and professions audience?
Does it address a topic that matters on a national or global scale? Will it be relevant to readers in both high and low income countries?
Do you think this article will have an impact—upon medical educators, researchers, health policymakers, or the broader public? Will it be widely read, disseminated, and cited? Could it help to improve public and/or global health? Will health reporters find it of interest?
Does the article contain any inaccurate information? Are the authors' claims evidence-based?
Have the authors missed out anything important—including important research findings—on the topic they're writing about? Please provide details of anything important that is missing.
Does this article contain enough new information to warrant publication? Does it take the discussion and debate on this topic in a novel direction?
Is the article well written, clear, and easy for a non-specialist—or for someone whose first language is not English—to understand?
Are there any specific sections that do not make sense?
If tables and figures have been included, do they help the reader, or are they unnecessary? Could they be improved? Do you have suggestions for additional items (summary boxes, graphics etc.)?
The review process is strictly confidential and should be treated as such by reviewers. Because the author may have chosen to exclude some people from this process, no one not directly involved with the manuscript, including colleagues or other experts in the field, should be consulted by the reviewer unless such consultations have first been discussed with the editor.
9. Timely Review
EJME believes that an efficient editorial process that results in timely publication provides a valuable service both to authors and to the community at large. We therefore request that reviewers respond promptly, usually within 7 days of receipt of a manuscript. If reviewers need more time, we request that they contact us promptly so that we can keep the authors informed and, if necessary, assign alternate reviewers.
EJME follows a closed (anonymous) peer-review process. As a default, we will NOT pass a reviewer's name on to the authors along with the comments. We discourage any attempt on the part of authors to discover the identity of any reviewer or to contact this person directly. We encourage the reviewers to adopt the same policy. The assigned editor is also anonymous to authors and reviewers unless and until a manuscript is accepted for publication. The editor's name may be then indicated in the published article. All communications should be directly with the Editor-in-Chief.
11. Editing Reviewers' Reports
The editors and EJME staff do not edit any comments made by reviewers that are 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.
12. Competing Interests
As far as possible we respect requests by authors to exclude reviewers whom they consider to be unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest, such as those who may have been collaborators on other projects with the authors of the manuscript under review, those who may be direct competitors, those who may have a known history of antipathy with the author(s), or those who might profit financially from the work. Because it is not possible for all such competing interests to be known by a particular editor, we request that reviewers who recognize a potential competing interest inform the Editor-in-Chief and recuse themselves if they feel that are unable to offer an impartial review.
Click here for more details regarding competing interests. When submitting your review you must indicate whether or not you have any competing interests.
On occasion, reviewers may be asked to offer their opinion on a manuscript that they may have reviewed for some other journal. This is not in itself a competing interest. That two journals have identified the same person as especially well qualified to judge the manuscript under consideration does not in any way decrease the validity of that opinion and may perhaps even enhance it.
13. Feedback to Reviewers
We send reviewers' comments along with the decision letter to all reviewers of that manuscript. Reviewers who may have offered an opinion not in accordance with the final decision should not feel that their recommendation was not duly considered or their service not properly appreciated. Experts often disagree, and it is the job of the editorial team to make a final publication decision.
14. Sharing reviews with other destinations
EJME retains the rights to communicate the processed papers to any other academic destination as appropriate for the purpose of consultation.
15. Thank You to EJME Reviewers
We would like to thank our reviewers for their support in reviewing or editing papers for EJME.