What other concerns do you have about peer review?

The Lancet Webinar|Peer Review: How to Create a ‘Win-Win’ for Authors, Reviewers, and Editors” on September 20th. The meeting was moderated by Ms. Wang Hui, Executive Editor-in-Chief Asia of The Lancet, The Lancet Global Health Editor-in-chief Zoë Mullan explains in detail the different roles of reviewers, authors and editors in peer review and how to become a reviewer; Professor Cao Bin from China-Japan Friendship Hospital< /strong>, Associate researcher Li Mengmeng of Sun Yat-sen University and Professor Zhang Lei of Xi’an Jiaotong University as special guests, they introduced their different experiences as authors and reviewers, and discussed Problems encountered during the submission and review process, and the important role of peer review in scientific research. The editors answered the questions that were not answered in the Q&A session after the meeting, and we recommend it to everyone today.

Welcome to the meeting replay:

Chinese live broadcast


Live in English


What will the editor do if there are too many differences between the two reviewers? Will an editor reject a submission because of a reviewer’s negative review?

First of all, it is up to the editor to decide whether a paper is accepted or rejected, and the reviewers’ comments are for reference only.

For articles entering the review process, the editor will invite peer experts in relevant research fields to review the manuscript. The Lancet series of journals generally select at least four reviewers for peer review. After the paper is submitted for review, the editorial team will discuss the reviewer’s comments at the twice-weekly manuscript meeting to decide whether the paper will be accepted, rejected or revised.

If there happens to be a situation where the reviewer opinions are very different, such as two rejection opinions and two minor revision opinions, then the editor in charge of the article will carefully listen to the professional opinions of other editors; if The editors also have disagreements and doubts, and may ask a “Solomon” reviewer to review all of the review comments and the manuscript itself from an impartial third-party perspective, in which case the “Solomon” reviewer’s opinion It is an important reference for making editorial decisions.

In short, the editor will not make a decision based on the opinion of one reviewer alone, but will combine the opinions of all reviewers and the general opinion of the editorial discussion to make the final decision.

What are the factors that influence the periodicity of peer review?

The main factors that affect the peer review cycle are the time it takes for a reviewer to respond after inviting a reviewer, and the time it takes for a reviewer to return their comments after accepting the invitation. For The Lancet and some series of journals with fast publication service, we give reviewers two working days to review manuscripts to give priority to publishing important studies that meet the fast publication requirements as soon as possible. After receiving all the review comments, the editor can generally make a final decision within 1-2 weeks.

Do you recommend a doctoral student as a reviewer? Or is it better after graduation?

This depends on the individual circumstances of the doctoral student. If the doctoral student has rich experience in clinical research publication and review before, he can be considered as our reviewer. However, if the experience in this area is very limited, we do not recommend PhD students to become independent reviewers. However, we encourage experienced researchers to “partner” with younger scholars who are less experienced in their team to review an article together. We hope to encourage and help young scholars grow faster in this way.

Why are Chinese scholars reluctant to become reviewers? Is there any solution?

We do not fully understand the willingness and enthusiasm of domestic scholars for peer review work, which may be related to factors such as the incentive mechanism or the number of invitations. In terms of time or energy, not counting or undercounting academic contributions/performance, and not knowing how to review manuscripts, some scholars do have concerns about participating in peer review.

However, as can be seen from the panel discussions at this conference, many researchers are still happy to review manuscripts for the Lancet series of journals. I hope this seminar will show you the peer review process of The Lancet series journals and how to submit a “perfect and reasonable review opinion in the eyes of the editor”. You are also welcome to continue to communicate with us and let us know if you are Willingness to be a reviewer and what barriers exist (identify the QR code below and write your question). Peer review is an important part of academic research, and we welcome and hope that more Chinese scholars will participate in it.

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