All manuscripts submitted to the Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology (HKJO) are subject to double-blind peer review (except editorials and letters to the Editor which are reviewed internally).
Individuals invited to review articles for HKJO must have sufficient expertise in the area of research to evaluate the originality, scientific content, conclusions, and importance of the research. Reviewers are required to respond to the review request and to complete the review by the deadline (typically within 2-3 weeks). Reviewers should decline the review if they have any reason to think they cannot deliver an objective review within the timeframe given.
Reviewers must disclose any potential financial or personal conflicts of interest relating to the study.
HKJO uses an online peer review platform. Once your review is complete, please use this platform to respond to some questions and submit your comments for the Editors.
In addition to responding to the questions on the online form, please provide thorough comments for the authors in 3 parts:
Material under review should not be shared or discussed with anyone outside the review process unless approved by the editor. Reviewers should not retain copies of submitted manuscripts and should not use the knowledge of their content for any purpose unrelated to the peer-review process.
This guide is intended to serve as a quick reference to reasons to consider recommending that the journal reject, accept, or invite major or minor revisions to a manuscript. Suggestions for the types of information to include in your comments to the author and to the editor are also provided.
Your review comments and recommendation will influence the editors’ decision regarding the manuscript. Moreover, the peer-review process depends on the submission of high-quality reviews that represent thoughtful consideration of the manuscript and are clear and sufficiently detailed. Please be sure to:
Please note that the author will see your anonymous comments to the author, but only the editors and journal staff will see the recommendation you select. Please do not make publication recommendations in your comments to the author.
Note: If you believe that there are special circumstances—for example, suspected conflicts of interest, substantial or duplicate prior publication, use of others’ work without acknowledgement, or identifiable data—please describe these issues in your confidential comments to the editor.
This recommendation is for a paper that you do not think should be published. Some examples of reasons to recommend reject appear below.
Writing the review: In your confidential comments to the editor, please be frank and direct in explaining why you recommend rejecting the manuscript. When writing your comments for the author, though, please keep tone in mind as you point out the paper’s flaws. Be sure to offer the authors some constructive feedback on this manuscript or for their future work on the topic.
This recommendation is for a paper you think could contribute to the literature but needs substantial or important additional work first. You believe the authors should be allowed to revise with the understanding that future publication will depend on the quality and sufficiency of the revisions. Some examples of issues that are common in papers needing major revisions are listed below.
When writing the review: In your comments to the authors, be sure to provide constructive, actionable feedback that details your concerns and your suggestions. Include questions you may have about the method, analysis, argument, etc. Do not worry about pointing out specific typos or errors of grammar unless they affect the science or relate to terms that a copy editor without your expertise would not be aware of (e.g., errors in measurement units, errors in test or procedure names); instead, include a general comment about the writing. In your confidential comments to the editor, be sure to indicate whether any of your recommendations are deal breakers—for example, if the authors cannot complete the additional analysis you recommend, should the paper be reconsidered?
This recommendation is for a solid, well-written paper that you think will make an important contribution to the literature. The revisions needed are not substantive, as the paper is in good shape and close to ready for publication; in fact, you believe publication should be almost certain based on the current draft. Your suggestions are primarily directed at helping strengthen the paper’s presentation and clarity. Some examples of issues that are common in papers needing minor revisions are listed below.
When writing the review: In your comments to the author, provide constructive, actionable feedback that details the issues you noticed and how you think the author can address them best. If you propose additional areas to consider, be clear as to whether you think these are essential. Please do not characterize the revisions as minor in your comments for the authors. In your confidential comments to the editor, be sure to indicate why you think the paper makes an important contribution and whether any of the suggested changes are critical.
This recommendation is for a paper you view as being excellent in quality and concept. It is very well written but it may need a few minor clarifications that would fit within the scope of copyediting.
When writing the review: In your comments to the author, please highlight the areas of excellence you have identified in the paper and indicate in what ways the manuscript represents an important contribution. Detail any clarifications or changes that you think are needed or would improve an already excellent contribution. In your confidential comments to the editor, make a case for why a recommendation of “accept” is appropriate for this paper.