Peer Review Process

Review process

Criteria for publication

Journal receives many more submissions than it can publish in each edition. It is therefore important that manuscripts are critically evaluated for compliance with the following criteria:

  • Novelty (abstracts, meeting proceedings, preprints are not considered as an alternative to novelty).
  • Broad clinical significance of presented data.
  • Strong evidence for the conclusions that are drawn.
  • Importance to the specific field of science or practical pediatrics.

Review process

All submitted manuscripts are subject to mandatory review. After registration, the manuscripts are evaluated for compliance with the requirements and profile of the journal, and then sent for scientific review to at least 2 external experts working in the relevant field. The journal practices double-blind peer review, means that neither authors nor referees do not know each other. The average time of the reviewing process is 6–8 weeks.
Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to the journal are sent for formal review, typically to 2 reviewers appointed by editors/editorial board. The referees are asked for their opinion about the suitability of the paper for publication. Based on the conclusions of the reviewers, the editors decide:
- accept the manuscript, with or without minor revision;
- invite the authors to revise the manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision on publication in the journal;
- or reject the manuscript, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.
The result of the review is based on offered recommendations of referees. The final decision to publish the article is made by the editor-in-chief/editorial board.
In case of approval of the manuscript for publication after review, it is sent for further processing and publication. If necessary, the manuscript is sent to the author for revision in accordance with the recommendations of the reviewer(s). Revised manuscript sent for re-review. In case of manuscript rejection for publication, the author receives information that the article is not accepted for publication with motivated refusal. The manuscript is not returned to the author.
In their work, the editor and editorial board are guided by the principles of confidentiality. The same applies to authors and reviewers. All correspondence with the journal, reviewers' reports and other materials should not be published on any sites or published without the prior consent of the editor or editorial board, regardless of whether or not the manuscript will be published.

Selecting Referees

Referee selection is critical to the review process, and the journal choice is based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations, and our previous experience with the referee. The journal avoids using referees who are chronically slow, sloppy, too harsh or too lenient. Editorial staff normally contact potential referees before sending them manuscripts to review and only on acceptance of the invitation referee will have access to the full paper. Referees should bear in mind that all correspondence with editorial staff should be treated as confidential.

Proposals for the selection of referees can be made by editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief or editorial staff during initial review of the article. In the review process, there participate qualified independent referees as well as members of the editorial board who are experts in the field of submitted manuscript. Journal database contains the list of reviewers and members of editorial board who participate in review process.

Upon receiving a manuscript to referee

To avoid unnecessary delays in processing manuscripts, please do the following immediately upon receipt of a manuscript for review:

  • check thoroughly the deadline to ensure that there have been no misunderstandings
  • in regarding to timing, contact the editorial office immediately if you anticipate any difficulties
  • read the editor's letter carefully and be sure to note any points specific to the manuscript that the editor may have requested your opinion on
  • skim the manuscript and consider whether there might be a conflict of interest for you (with the authors, their institution, their funding sources) and whether you can judge the article impartially
  • consider whether the topic seems to fit the scope of the journal and is likely to be of sufficient general interest for publication.


Referees should treat the review process as being strictly confidential and not to discuss the manuscript with anyone not directly involved in the review.

It is acceptable to consult with colleagues, but they should be identified to the editors. Consulting with experts from outside the referee’s own institution may be acceptable, but again editors should be informed before doing so, to avoid involving anyone who may have been excluded by the authors.


Referees should, as a rule, not disclose their identities to the authors or to other colleagues since they may be asked to comment on the criticisms of other referees and may then find it difficult to be objective. Should they feel strongly about making their identities known to the authors, they should do so via the editor. Strongly disapproved of any attempt by authors to determine the identities of referees or to confront them, and encourage referees to neither confirm nor deny any speculation in this regard.

Writing the report

The main purpose of referee reports is to provide the editors with the information that they need to reach a decision, but they should also instruct the authors on how to strengthen their manuscript if revision is a possibility. Referees are asked to submit both confidential comments to the editor and those that can be directly transmitted to the authors. 

While transmitting comments to the authors, referees are asked to maintain a positive and impartial, but critical, attitude in evaluating manuscripts. Criticisms should remain dispassionate; offensive language is not acceptable. As far as possible, a negative report should explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that they can understand the basis for a decision to ask for revision or to reject the manuscript. The report for authors should not include a recommendation regarding publication, which is regarded as confidential information since the final decision regarding acceptance, revision or rejection rests with the editor.


The Journal is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication as efficiency in this process is a valuable service both to our authors and the scientific community as a whole. Therefore referees are asked to respond promptly or inform editorial office if they anticipate a significant delay, which allows the journal to keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternative referees.

Conflicts of interest

In order to ensure fairness in the referee process, we try to avoid referees who: have recent or ongoing collaborations with the authors, have commented on drafts of the manuscript, are in direct competition, have a history of dispute with the authors, or have a financial interest in the outcome. Because it is not possible for the editors to know of all possible biases, however, we ask referees to draw our attention to anything that might affect their report, including commercial interests, and to decline to referee in cases where they feel unable to be objective. We do not find it necessary to exclude referees who have reviewed a paper for another journal; the fact that two journals have independently identified a particular person as well qualified to referee a paper does not decrease the validity of her/his opinion in our view.

Publication policy and ethical considerations

In spite of the journal best efforts to identify breaches of publication policy or ethical conduct, such as plagiarism or author conflict of interest, the referees who are more familiar with the field are more likely to recognise such problems and should alert the editors to any potential problems in this regard.