For reviewers

General remarks

Peer review is a crucial tool to advance science by evaluating manuscripts and offering suggestions for improvement. The voluntary work of our reviewers is the key element in this process. All reviewers for the ESR journals should be aware of their responsibility to guide authors by providing constructive feedback. The editors reserve their right to delete from the author’s feedback any unprofessional, libellous and/or insulting comments.

Note that since January 2023, European Radiology operates a single-blinded peer review process, where manuscripts sent to reviewers will no longer be anonymized or blinded, but reviewers’ names will continue to be unknown to authors.

Reviewer Reports include the following elements:

  • Decision suggestion
  • Report form (scores to be given or questions to be answered)
  • Comments to authors
  • Confidential comments to the editor

See below for instructions and consult the following suggestions and guidelines.

Decision Suggestions

Please consider both qualitative and quantitative criteria when deciding on a minor or major revision:

Qualitative criteria:

– any methodological question / potential misunderstanding / major discrepancy between different parts of the manuscript should qualify for a major revision

– changes suggested for better understanding, easier reading, or better connection of the data and the text might qualify for a minor revision.

Quantitative criteria:

– if there are multiple minor points of criticism, this should usually turn a minor into a major revision.

– ‘Accept’ is not usually an appropriate suggestion for a first revision

– a manuscript should be rejected if changes would most likely result in a new design and methodology

Comments to author

These comments will be sent to the author in the decision letter. Please organize your review according to the scheme given online and comment on the various elements of the manuscript step by step.

Qualities of your report:

  • Give specific instructions, not general comments (example: “The results are not reproducible from what is described” is better than “This paper contains poor methods”)
  • Give constructive criticism/suggestions to improve the work.
  • Distinguish minor changes (improving the manuscript) from major issues (substantial for publication).
  • Keep your tone fair and respectful.
  • Do not include your suggestion whether to publish this paper or not – this is the decision of the editor, who will diligently consider the comments and criticisms of both reviewers.
  • Do not sign the review with your name (we have a single-blinded review process, and reviewer names are not revealed to authors).
  • Do not correct language errors, but let the editor know if an article is poorly written and the scientific content might be misunderstood.

Manuscript criteria:

  • The title should be informative and the abstract needs to attract the attention of the readers.
  • The introduction should explain why the work is important and provide a clear hypothesis and objective.
  • Materials and methods should provide information to reproduce the study, and the study design should be in line with the research question.
  • The number of patients or measurements should be high enough to be significant.
  • The results need to correlate with the questions posed in materials and methods.
  • The discussion is meant to interpret the results and should contain essential findings, critical discussion, limitations, relevance and conclusions.
  • Images and tables should reflect the presented findings and results. Be aware that the image quality in the reviewer PDF is possibly lower than the actual quality of the image that authors provided.

Consult this document with suggestions for structuring your reviewer comments:

Confidential comments to the editor

Please give your brief recommendation to the editor on whether to publish or not, here. Confidential comments to the editor should be clear and concise, and provide an explanation of your recommendation. The editor relies on your honest opinion. Please consider the following points:

  • Why did you recommend this decision?
  • Is the content original? Does it provide new information not yet covered by other articles?
  • Will the article influence research or clinical practice? Is the article likely to be cited?
  • Are there outstanding strengths or weaknesses of the methods and patient group?
  • Are the results clear and credible? Are the conclusions supported by the results and in line with the research question?

Your comments should be in line with your answers to the reviewer questions (e.g. you should not describe the scientific/clinical importance as low and then score it with “outstanding”, etc.), and correspond with your comments to the authors.

Consult this document with suggestions for structuring your reviewer comments:

CME for reviewers

Reviewers can claim CME with the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (UEMS) for performed reviewing activities carried out within the scope of editorial procedures for journals indexed in PubMed. CME can be claimed for reviews performed from January 1, 2017 onwards. The application requires a one-time fee of 20€ (VAT excluded) and a confirmation from the editor of the journal (letter or email including date of review). For more information, visit the website of the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (UEMS).