Information for Reviewers
A note to our volunteer reviewers: Many research programs have been disrupted by COVID-19; during this time, please keep in mind that it may be difficult for many of our authors to perform significant new experimentation over the next few months. While we do not want to relax our rigorous standards for publication, please consider carefully the need for additional experimentation and recommend only that which is truly crucial to support the conclusions of the manuscript. Thank you for your help and continued support during this disruption.
ADA journals use a single-blinded review process: authors are blinded to the identities of the editors and reviewers responsible for the independent peer review of their manuscripts, but not vice versa. The peer reviewers for ADA journals are experts chosen by the Associate Editors to provide written objective assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of original research manuscripts, with the aim of improving the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate, timely, and highest-quality research for each journal. Researchers are invited to review manuscripts submitted to the journals on the bases of their objectivity, scientific knowledge, and level of expertise. For additional details about ADA journal policies and peer review, please see the Journal Policies page.
Reviewers for all ADA journals may receive continuing medical education (CME) credit for physicians. More about CME below.
- Physicians are eligible to receive a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ for each manuscript review, up to a total of 15 CME credits per annum.
ADA journals seek reviews that are professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive. The desired major elements of a high-quality review, as outlined by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), are as follows:
- major strengths and weaknesses of study design and methodology
- accurate and constructive comments on the quality of the author's interpretation of the data, including acknowledgment of its limitations
- comments on major strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as a written communication, independent of the design, methodology, results, and interpretation of the study
- comments on any ethical concerns raised by the study, or any possible evidence of low standards of scientific conduct
- useful suggestions for improvement of the manuscript
- constructive and professional comments
- proper context and perspective for an editor to make a decision on acceptance (and/or revision) of the manuscript
Information about each journal's acceptance rates, publication intervals, and other performance data can be found in the "About the Journal" page of the online journal. Updated statistics are posted in July/August of each year.
Manuscripts authored by the American Diabetes Association or ADA staff must first be vetted and reviewed by the appropriate ADA department and/or ADA volunteer committee (such as the Association’s Professional Practice Committee) prior to being submitted to an ADA journal. After an ADA-authored manuscript is submitted to an ADA journal, the editor-in-chief of the journal has the discretion to determine the level of peer review that should be assigned to the manuscript before it is accepted for publication.
Information for ADA Peer Reviewers
Before you accept an invitation to review:
Does the manuscript fall into your area of expertise?
Peer reviewers should be experts in the field covering the topic of the manuscript and able to provide valuable written assessment of the work. Peer reviewers are selected by the journal’s editors, as suggested by WAME recommendations, based on their background in original research, publication of articles, formal training, and previous critical appraisal of manuscripts.
Do you have any conflicts of interest to report?
Competing interests could be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political, or religious in nature. COPE guidelines state that if you are currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been recent (e.g., within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators, or joint grant holders, you should not agree to review. In addition, if you are currently preparing a manuscript very similar to the one you have been invited to review, you should decline the offer to review.
Have you previously reviewed the manuscript?
If a manuscript is rejected from another journal and submitted to an ADA journal (or vice versa), and you are asked to review that same manuscript, you must disclose this information to the inviting journal. You should be prepared to review the manuscript afresh as it may have changed between the two submissions and the journals’ criteria for evaluation and acceptance may be different. In some cases, reviewers of ADA journals may be asked to give permission for the transfer of their reviews to other journals.
Do you have time to complete a thorough evaluation of the manuscript?
Timeliness is critical to the peer review process. Only agree to review if you can return the review within the proposed or mutually agreed-upon time frame. Always inform the journal promptly if you are unable to complete the review or if you will require an extension.
If you decline the invitation to review an article, provide the names and contact information for potential alternative reviewers.
Manuscripts under review are strictly confidential. To protect the authors’ work as well as your anonymity, the manuscript, its parts, and any communications regarding the submitted manuscript, including the comments of other reviewers assigned to the manuscript, may not be shared for any reason. Further, according to COPE guidelines, reviewers must refrain from using information obtained from the peer-review process in any way and should not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript without first obtaining permission from the journal.
As an ADA peer reviewer, you will be asked to provide a percentage ranking for the manuscript based on study design, quality of research, and novel findings; a numbered rating for statistical analyses, conclusions, originality, clarity, and interest to the readership; and brief comment on the strength, weaknesses, and value of the work described.
Your assessment and recommendation to “accept,” “reject,” or “revise” will be reviewed carefully by the editor when making the final decision. The American Diabetes Association plays no role in the decision whether to accept a manuscript for publication.
ADA recommends a structured review. The following may be used as a guide to format your comments:
- Summary: Briefly summarize the key aspects and findings of the manuscript.
- Strengths: Using bulleted points, identify 3–5 strengths of the work described in the manuscript; briefly discuss each in 1–2 sentences.
- Weaknesses: Using bulleted points, identify 3–5 weaknesses of the work described in the manuscript; briefly discuss each in 1–2 sentences. Comments could include:
a) indication of potential flaws in study design, sample size, or data analyses
b) whether the background literature is complete
c) suggestions for improving tables or figures
- Overall value: Based on the above, provide your overall synthesis of the importance of the work described in the manuscript.
- Additional comments: Using bulleted points, provide constructive notes to help to improve the manuscript. Comments could include suggestions for revising sections to make them shorter and more succinct or suggestions for revising or omitting figures and/or tables.
Reviewers can provide confidential comments to the editor as well as anonymous comments to the authors of the manuscript.
Other considerations include whether you, as a reviewer of the manuscript, feel that readers of the journal could benefit from additional information in the form of a commentary to accompany the manuscript, as well as whether you would be willing to author such a piece.
If during your review, or at any time, you become concerned about potential misconduct (e.g., plagiarism, prior publication, data fabrication or manipulation) that may have occurred in the research, writing, or submission of a manuscript, please notify the editor immediately. Gather the pertinent information and notify the editor in confidence; do not share your concerns with other parties. In cases of possible scientific or publishing misconduct, ADA will consult COPE’s 17 flowcharts that provide algorithms for editors to follow when they suspect publication misconduct. Cases that cannot be properly addressed by use of COPE’s algorithms will be investigated and addressed by ADA’s Panel on Ethical Scientific Programs on a case-by-case basis.
Continuing Medical Education Credit
ADA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME credit for physicians.
Physicians are eligible to receive a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ for each manuscript review, up to a total of 15 CME credits per annum.
To apply for CME credit, check the appropriate box on the reviewer scoresheet and follow the on-screen instructions. Reviews submitted for CME credit require completion of all aspects of the review in addition to an evaluation of the personal educational outcomes as a result of the review process.
Editors for each journal determine whether reviews meet the criteria for CME credit. Each review is rated on a Likert scale based on quality and timeliness. Credit is issued based on expert opinion and rating score. Upon receipt of this rating, ADA accreditation staff will notify the reviewer and, if applicable, email the certificate within 6–8 weeks.
All certificates are sent via email from firstname.lastname@example.org.