The peer review process is described on the website of JMIR journal - click on the Peer Review Process e.g., Peer Review Process for JMIR.
Type of Peer Review
JMIR Publications does not attempt to "blind" reviewers about the identity of the authors (single-blind review). Authors do not know the names of the reviewers unless they opt to sign their review and unless the paper is published, in which case the reviewer names are acknowledged at the end of an article.
Peer Review Process
When a manuscript is first received, the Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Editor, or their designated editor will decide whether the manuscript meets the formal criteria specified in the Instructions for Authors and whether it fits within the scope of the journal. When in doubt, the editor will consult other members of the Editorial Board. Manuscripts are then assigned to an Associate Editor, who sends them to 2-4 external experts for peer review.
Authors are required to suggest at least 2 peer reviewers (who do not have a conflict of interest) during the submission process. JMIR reviewers will not stay anonymous after acceptance; their names will be revealed and stated below the article if the manuscript is published. For details, see Will I stay anonymous as peer reviewer? (double blind peer review?). Authors and reviewers should not directly contact each other to enter into disputes on manuscripts or reviews.
In addition to editor-selected reviewers, authors can opt-in to open peer review, where the Abstract is made public, and any user can sign up to review a paper (see What is open peer review?). It will then appear on our Preprint server under Latest Submissions Open for Peer Review (Preprints) while the paper is under review (it will be deleted afterward).
Reviewers use a structured form to assess a submission (see What does the JMIR Review Form look like?). For guidance on how to prepare a high-quality peer review, reviewers may refer to our online information: (for reviewers) How to write a high-quality peer review
After peer review, the editor makes a decision based on the reviewer(s) recommendation(s) and their own assessment, which can be any of the following:
- A-accept (almost never after the first review round)
- B-minor revisions required (no further formal external peer review round required, editor makes decision)
- C-revise & re-review
- D-major revisions & re-review
Any of these decisions can be combined with a recommendation (or decision) to transfer the manuscript to another JMIR Publications journal (see Why has my article been transferred to another journal (or a transfer has been suggested), and what are my options?).
Decision B, C, or D means that the author is supposed to respond to the reviewer comments and upload a revision. See How do I respond to reviewer comments and upload a revised manuscript?
The manuscript may then go into another round of external (if the previous decision was C/D) or internal (if the previous editorial decision was B) peer review, also called round 2 (3, 4, ...) re-review (see What happens after I submitted a revised version and my responses to reviewer comments?). Reviewers who have previously rated the manuscript as A (accept) or B (minor revisions) will not see the revision again as they already found it acceptable. Previous reviewers who rated the manuscript as C, D, or E will be invited to re-review the revision.
It is JMIR Publications policy to avoid assigning new reviewers in round 2 (3, 4, ...), except in rare circumstances and at the discretion of the handling editor, Editor-in-Chief, or Scientific Editor. If reviewers from the previous round are not available (no response or decline to re-review), then it is the task of the editor to evaluate if the comments have been addressed satisfactorily.
It is also JMIR Publications policy that an editorial decision B is often, but not exclusively, followed by an editorial decision A (accept) after the authors address all minor comments. Authors should be aware that the editor may still recommend transfer to another JMIR Publications journal, even if the most recent decision was a B. (see Why has my article been transferred to another journal (or a transfer has been suggested), and what are my options?) Occasionally, if new requirements or questions may arise, which may lead to new comments or (rarely) necessitate the assignment of a new reviewer.
On occasion, authors of manuscripts include editors for JMIR Publications journals (e.g., Editors-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Scientific Editors, etc). In these instances, the assigned editor handling the manuscript would not be an active collaborator with with the author who is an editor. For example, if an Associate Editor in a journal submits their original research paper to their own journal for peer review, the manuscript may be assigned to a Scientific Editor, rather than the Editor-in-Chief or another Associate Editor for the journal. Additionally, the Conflict of Interest section of the published manuscript, if accepted after peer review, would disclose the editor's role and for which journal they serve in that role. See also: How does JMIR define a Conflict of Interest (COI)?
JMIRx Peer Review
For more information about peer review for JMIRx superjournals, including JMIRx Med, JMIRx Bio, and JMIRx Psy, please visit the following pages:
- What is JMIRx?
- How to submit to a JMIRx journal
- Submitting manuscripts from MedRxiv/BioRxiv to JMIR journals (M2JMIR)
- Can I submit a paper to you that has previously published on a different Preprint server (such as arXiv/MedRxiv) other than JMIR Preprints?
Important for peer reviewers: Accepted papers in JMIRx superjournals are published along with the related Peer Review Reports and Author Responses to Peer Review Reports, providing an additional layer of transparency to the scholarly publishing process. By default, when peer reviewers accept an invitation to review a manuscript for JMIRx Med, JMIRx Bio, or JMIRx Psy, they are consenting to the publication of their peer review report with attribution to them as the author of the peer review report. Peer reviewers should also note that peer review reports are also indexed in Pubmed Central (PMC) and Pubmed along with the final published manuscript and author response(s) to peer review reports.
- I am submitting a paper and I am asked to suggest peer-reviewers, but don't know who to suggest. Can I bypass this step?
- How do I respond to reviewer comments and upload a revised manuscript?
- What happens after I submitted a revised version and my responses to reviewer comments?
- Why has my article been transferred to another journal (or a transfer has been suggested), and what are my options?)
- How do I prevent my article from being transferred to another journal when it is rejected? (cascading peer-review)
- What does the JMIR Review Form look like?
- (for reviewers) How to write a high-quality peer review
For editors (login to Zendesk required):
- (for editors) My previous decision was C or D, after a revised version was submitted, what do I do?
- (for editors) My previous decision was B, after a revised version was submitted, what do I do?
- (for editors) Does the JMIR system automatically send to reviewers the authors' responses to reviewers' comments?
- (for editors) What is an editorial conflict of interest?