Peer Review Process

Peer review process

The JEPHA peer reviews all the material it receives. We give priority to articles that will help advancement of public health.

We aim to reach a first decision on all manuscripts within one or two weeks of submission. The process of reviewing an average paper takes about 3-6 months from receipt of manuscript to online publication. The steps are as follows:

1-    Initially accepted articles are delivered to the appropriate reviewers (usually two). Those who accept the invitation are asked to critically review the paper and submit the report within 2-3 weeks of receipt of the invitation.

2-    If their suggested decision is “accept after revision”. The paper is sent to the copy editors to check language and style. Edits are added to the peer reviewed copy and all corrections are presented in the form of inserted comments.

3-    Both the copy-edited version and the reviewers reports are sent to the corresponding author, asking him to respond within 2 weeks.

4-     The re-submitted copy is revised by the assistant editors/handling editor to check the adequacy of the responses. If in doubt , it is sent again to the reviewer to re-check and suggest 2nd decision.

5-     When responses are adequate, the editor-in-chief sets the final disposition “accept” and the paper is sent to production staff to write the first proof.

6-     Rejection is often much quicker than this, however, and we reject about two thirds of all submissions without external peer review.

About half the original research articles we receive are rejected after review in house, usually by the editor-in-chief. We aim to do this quickly so that we do not waste authors' time, allowing them to get on and submit the work elsewhere without unnecessary delay. The usual reasons for rejection at this stage are insufficient originality, or the absence of a message that is important to a general public health audience - leading us to the decision that, essentially, we do not think the JEPHA is the right journal for the work. 

For research articles we focus mainly on the research question: even when the overall subject is relevant, topical, and important we may reject the article because the study didn’t ask a research question that added enough. Of course, we will also reject work if it has serious flaws. We may screen a research article initially by reading only the structured abstract, so abstracts should be as complete, accurate, and clear as possible—but not unnecessarily long—and must be approved by all authors.

For original research articles one editor will usually take each article through from start to finish. The journal's team of research editors aims to read all newly submitted research articles within 3-5 working days. If the article is potentially suitable for the JEPHA that editor will ask the editor-in-chief to send the article to two external peer reviewers.

Decisions made for the research manuscript usually include one of: provisional acceptance (conditional on making satisfactory revisions), request revisions (when we remain interested in the article but have insufficient information to reach a definitive decision, and hope that the reviewers' and editors' comments to the authors will lead to a satisfactory revision and eventually to a decision), or rejection. We send a decision letter and report as soon as possible; usually within a few days but longer if we have asked for an additional detailed report from the statistics editor or another reviewer. If we make an offer of publication subject to revision we usually ask authors to return their articles to us within the subsequent month.