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Information for JAOCD Reviewers
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Learn about:

Overview of the Process
When You Receive an Invitation to Review
Review Criteria
Making Your Decision
After You Submit Your Decision
Criteria for Removal from the Editorial Board


Overview of the Process

  1. An invitation to review a particular manuscript arrives in your inbox. Through the Editorial Manager system, you either Accept or Decline. If you decline, you needn't take further action. You will likely be invited again within the month.

  2. If you accept, you begin the review process, following the instructions included in the invitation email.

  3. You complete your review and submit your Accept/Revise decision by the deadline stated in the invitation e-mail.

  4. If you Accept the manuscript, and the Senior Editor supports your decision, your work is done. If you request a revision or if the Senior Editor requests a revision, you will receive another e-mail inviting you to review the revised manuscript. (Back to Step 3.)

  5. When the manuscript reaches Acceptance or else is Rejected by the Senior Editor, your review responsibilities for that manuscript are complete.


When You Receive an Invitation to Review

All members of the Editorial Board are expected to review one manuscript every three to four months. When you receive an email Invitation to Review, it is essential that you either Accept or Decline through Editorial Manager (as explained the invitation email). Lack of responsiveness in this area dramatically affects the efficiency of the editorial process, which in turns affects the currency (and therefore the relevance, prestige, and ultimate MedLine indexing) of the JAOCD.

We ask that Reviewers follow these guidelines:

  1. Respond to an Invitation to Review promptly, preferably within three days, whether accepting or declining the invitation. If no response is received within seven days, a reminder e-mail will be sent. A maximum of two reminders will be sent before your invitation is rescinded and another reviewer is invited.

  2. Complete the review by the stated deadline of two weeks, or else notify the assistant editor (JuliaJAOCD@gmail) if an extension is required. Extensions are seldom a problem. If a review is late, a maximum of two reminders will be sent before your reviewer role for that manuscript is terminated.


Review Criteria

When reviewing a manuscript, please consider the following:

Significance: Is the topic important to the field of dermatology? Will physicians find it to be useful and/or of general interest?

Claims of novelty: Does the author make any novel claims? Does the author use the literature to place those claims in context? Are they supported by the evidence presented? (If not, what further evidence would bolster the claims?)

Grammar: Is the grammar acceptable? Is the case study (if applicable) related in past tense? (Please note that you do not have to correct the grammar line by line. The Assistant Editor will do that. You need only submit a Revise decision and note in your comments that the grammar needs significant work.)

Structure: Is the article organized in a logical way? Did the author include all necessary sections? (Abstract, Intro, Case Report [if applicable], Discussion, Conclusion)

Referencing: Did the author cite all statements that should be cited? Is the extent of the reference list in accordance with the depth of the article? Are the references outdated?

Other considerations: Are all drug names stated as generic, as they should be? Is any information missing, incorrect, questionable, or extraneous? Are there details (such as diagnostic criteria) that would be better presented as a table or a list rather than as part of the core text? Are the clinical photos (if the article is a case study) and histopathology photos (if applicable) appropriate and supportive of the text?

Making Your Decision

You will be choosing between three possible decisions: Accept, Minor Revision, or Major Revision.

Accept: The paper meets all of the above-stated criteria. The only possible exception is in the case of minor grammatical errors (for instance, a couple of misspelled words or missing commas); in this case, the article may be accepted, and if you'd like to note the locations of those errors when submitting your decision, that's helpful (but not required).

Minor Revision: The paper meets most of the above-stated criteria. It requires a few changes or additions in content, structure, or readability, but is overall a well-written, well-researched, valuable article.

Major Revision: The paper falls well short of the above-stated criteria. There is poor grammar throughout. The author will need to make significant changes and corrections and possibly do further research.

Numerical Manuscript Rating: You will be rating each manuscript on eight criteria, each with a score of 1-5.* Articles with total score greater than 32 are generally considered acceptable, though you may ask for a minor revision if there are a couple of points you'd like to see addressed. Scores of 24-31 should warrant major revision, with specific comments and suggestions in "Comments to Author" field.

Scores below 24 are generally not considered suitable for publication without a complete re-write; in this case, please include an explanation of the low score in the "Comments to Author" field, and write "Reject" in the "Confidential Comments to Editor" field.

*You will only be rating the original manuscript. The Editorial Manager system does not allow reviewers to re-populate the Manuscript Rating field for revisions.


After You Submit Your Decision

Submitting your decision is not the end of the process.

If you Accept an article, the Senior Editor will then perform a final review. If the Senior Editor Accepts it as well, your review is complete. If the Senior Editor requests a revision, and the author submits that revision, you will be receiving an e-mail inviting you to review that revision and determine whether it addresses the Senior Editor's concerns. If it does, you may submit an Accept decision just like you did the first time. If it doesn't, you may submit a Revise decision based on those concerns.

If you choose Minor Revision or Major Revision, you will be reviewing the revised manuscript to determine whether all problems have been addressed, at which point you will submit either an Accept or Revise decision again. You (as the primary reviewer) are the most knowledgeable about the manuscript, and we ask that follow it through to the completion of the process.


Criteria for Removal from the Editorial Board

We highly value our reviewers and appreciate the time you donate to the JAOCD. Our journal literally could not exist without you. We don't want to remove anyone from our Editorial Board.

Unfortunately, repeated failure to respond to invitations and/or complete reviews on-time leads to some serious consequences for the JAOCD, most notably our manuscripts being out of date (which hinders our bid for MedLine indexing) and delaying publication (which damages our relationships with advertisers). For these reasons, we must remove reviewers who are consistently non-responsive or very late. Criteria for possible removal include: three (3) failures to respond to an invitation (responding means Agreeing or Declining through Editorial Manager); three (3) instances of Agreeing to review and then never submitting that review; and/or five (5) instances of submitting a review more than 30 days late.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being part of our journal. If you have any questions at all about these reviewer guidelines, please contact Julia Layton, Assistant Editor, at

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