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Reviewer Guide

Peer review is the foundation on which published medical literature stands. While peer review is largely altruistic, there are many benefits to serving as a peer reviewer. Lend a hand to your fellow Cureus authors and join the Cureus peer review panel today!

Review Cureus articles online in just minutes!

We provide a hassle-free review process that enables you to review the article and submit your comments online, all in under an hour. No downloading and printing PDFs to make comments in the margins. Just add your comments, complete a short questionnaire and submit your review.

Stay abreast of the latest developments in your field by getting a first look at research from your fellow physicians.

Review invitations unlock exclusive first-look access to the latest work from physicians across the world. Be one of the first to learn about a rare new case or a years-in-the-making study while also making a measurable impact on the authors’ work itself. Help authors strengthen their work while improving your own writing skills!

Gain progress towards our Cureus Honors program to earn rewards!

Completing peer reviews will help you progress towards our honors tiers where you’ll be rewarded with perks like discounts on our Preferred Editing and Expedited PMC services. And that’s not all - Cureus-invited reviews are worth more than twice as much as author-invited reviews so be sure to join our peer review panel via the above link!

Provide a valuable scientific contribution to medical literature available in PubMed Central.

Cureus peer review assists the author in creating the best possible scholarly article. Peer reviewers (invited by the author and Editors-in-Chief) provide comprehensive criticism, helping to provide authors with an efficient and fruitful publishing process. What’s more, all articles published in Cureus will be indexed in PubMed Central approximately six weeks after publication!

So how does it work?

All submitted articles must undergo a single-blind review process. A minimum of five individuals with requisite domain knowledge are invited to review each article. Prior to the forwarding of an invitation, each author-submitted reviewer is carefully vetted by our editorial staff with a specific focus on relevant scientific expertise.

In addition to author-invited reviewers, we will handpick selected members of the Cureus editorial board and/or allied specialists from the larger scientific community to review each article. Articles must receive at least two completed reviews in order to unlock for revision. One of these reviews must be submitted by a non-author-invited reviewer. (Articles with a Cureus Laureate author are exempt from the Cureus-invited reviewer requirement. This requirement will be waived for all articles if no Cureus-invited review has been submitted within 21 days.)

Authors have the option to end the peer review period for all reviewers once their article has satisfied our peer review requirements. If chosen, this option will expire all outstanding and in-progress reviews, with the exception of any reviews that were started within the prior 48 hours. These reviewers are given a maximum of 24 hours to submit their review, however, the review period may end sooner if the author revises and submits for publication approval.

Authors who are waiting on a Cureus-invited review (and have received at least two reviews from author-invited reviewers) can also choose to end the review period for the remaining author-invited reviewers. Any reviewers who started their review in the prior 48 hours will be notified that they have a maximum of 24 hours remaining to submit their review.

The peer review process

Upon accepting an invitation to review an article, each reviewer is assigned a Greek letter used by the author for identification purposes (e.g. Reviewer Alpha). This ensures that all Cureus reviewers are completely anonymous. All peer review is conducted within our custom-built online editing tool. Here’s how the process works.

  1. You’ll receive an email invitation that includes the article’s title, author, categories and abstract. Two buttons are available: “Accept review” and “Decline review.” Selecting “Accept review” will take you to review mode. Selecting “Decline review” will notify the article’s submitting author and Cureus editors.
  2. Once in review mode, highlight text to leave your comments. When you’re finished adding comments to the text, click the “Submit review” button to proceed to the peer review questionnaire before submitting your review.
    1. If you are not ready to proceed to the questionnaire, click the “Save and exit” button to return to the My Reviews tab of your dashboard. (Clicking “Save and exit” does not submit the review.)
    2. You may re-enter review mode at any time by selecting “Continue my review” in the My Reviews tab of your dashboard or by clicking “Accept review” in the original email invitation (as mentioned in Step 1).
  3. The peer review questionnaire begins with two questions sent to both the submitting author and the editor:
    1. Provide a brief summary of the main research question, claims, and conclusions of the study. How does this research fit within the existing literature?
    2. Provide a brief assessment of the research process and presentation while noting any obvious flaws or areas of weakness. Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence presented?
    3. The remaining three questions are sent only to the editor:

    4. Please provide your quality assessment for this article (rating of 1-5 with 5 being highest)
    5. Is the medical science and any associated conclusions contained within this article credible and potentially valuable?
      • Yes (accept after revisions)
      • Decision pending (please send for re-review after revisions)
      • No (do not publish)
    6. Add confidential comments for our editors, including any potential ethical concerns, as well as whether you are willing to review a revised version if needed (optional).
  4. Finally, you’ll then be asked to disclose any potential conflicts of interest before submitting your review.

How does re-review work?

After the author has incorporated your comments, you may receive an additional email requesting further review of a subsequent version of the article. (Accepting a re-review invitation is optional. Please refer to the above steps when revising additional manuscript versions.) Please feel free to provide feedback to our editorial staff during the review process.

What if I suspect plagiarism?

All articles submitted to Cureus are rigorously screened and filtered for evidence of plagiarism, but if you suspect academic fraud, you can flag the article for editorial review by selecting "Flag this article" from the dropdown menu in the My Reviews tab.

Our goal is to make this process easy for author and reviewer alike; your feedback allows Cureus to continually evolve and improve. If you have specific questions during the review process or if you accidentally submit an incomplete review, please email [email protected].