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What is Peer Review

And how does it work?

Independent researchers with relevant expertise assess submitted manuscripts to help the individual journal Editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in the journal. The peer review process confirms the validity and ensures the scientific accuracy of published articles.


Peer Review Process


1. Author submits manuscript

2. Editorial Office performs preliminary check

3. Editor-in-Chief assesses the manuscript and decides whether to proceed

- Reject without review
- Peer review starts

4. Editor-in-Chief assigns Handling Editor who will guide the review process

5. External reviewers assess the manuscript

6. Either Handling Editor or Editor-in-Chief make a decision

Revise – Author resubmits

Accept – Production starts

Reject – Process ends


Submission of a Manuscript for Peer Review

Before submitting a manuscript, authors should read the Submission Guidelines of the journal. All manuscripts must be submitted via the journal peer review platform, Manuscript Manager. Authors will not be asked to submit a manuscript via email.


How Peer Review Works

The Editor-in-Chief and the international Editorial Board ensure a thorough and fair peer-review process with the highest scientific publishing standards. After a manuscript is submitted, the editorial office performs preliminary checks to ensure compliance with submission guidelines, editorial policies and ethical standards. After completion of internal checks, each submission is assessed by the Editor-in-Chief (and/or Managing Editor) who decides whether to proceed with peer review and may assign a suitable handling Editor (Associate Editor, Editorial Board Member or Guest Editor). Handling Editors guide the peer-review process for manuscripts, including the associated supplementary material, within their areas of expertise with the help of reviewers who are well qualified and up-to-date on the subject matter and/or methodology. All articles, except for Editorials and some Correspondence articles, are externally peer reviewed, typically by at least two individuals with expertise in the manuscript content area and/or research methods, before a final decision is made about acceptance for publication. If an Editor, Editorial Board Member, or employee submits a manuscript, it is assigned to an independent Editor who will handle the peer review, and details of the review process, beyond the anonymized review and decision, are not accessible to the Editor, Editorial Board Member, or employee. All Editors, reviewers and authors shall adhere to Karger’s editorial policies and best practices in line with COPE Core Practices to maintain high standards of peer-review.


Appealing a decision

Authors may request to appeal a rejection decision for submissions. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Editorial Office of the journal and must include a detailed reason for the appeal and response to the reviewers' and/or Editor’s comments. Contact information for the Editorial Office can be found in correspondence about your submission or on the journal’s Contact page.


How a Peer Reviewer is Selected

Reviewers should be well qualified and up-to-date on the subject matter and methodology and should be free from a potential conflict of interest with the authors or the manuscript. A suitable reviewer will be able to provide an informed and objective opinion on the validity and relevance of the manuscript, i.e. is it scientifically sound, are the conclusions supported by the data, does it contribute to the field? First-hand experience of the subject of a manuscript can provide Editors and authors with a valuable perspective. A carefully selected reviewer may be able to provide additional geographic or local insight to manuscripts describing research within a specific setting, location or culture. Editors are encouraged to consider potential reviewers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the peer review process, particularly in circumstances where their first-hand experience may benefit the manuscript and peer-review process.



Peer Review Types

All Karger journals employ a rigorous peer-review process to confirm the validity and ensure scientific accuracy of published articles. Independent researchers with relevant expertise assess submitted manuscripts to help journal editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in their journal.
Each Karger journal operates one of two kinds of peer review, single or double blind.

Single Blind Review

The reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript. The majority of journals operate a single-blind process.


Double Blind Review

The reviewers do not know the names of the authors, and the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript. In journals that operate a double blind peer review, authors must upload a separate document that is not visible to reviewers containing any identifiable information for their manuscript.



Conflict of Interest in Peer Review

The potential for a conflict of interest in peer review exists when the interpretation of a manuscript could be perceived as being influenced by non-scientific considerations, such as financial interests, collaboration with one of the authors, working in a rival group, or personal, political, and ideological beliefs.


What to Declare

Editors and reviewers are asked to declare any relationship that could be perceived as a competing interest with respect to any manuscript they are asked to handle. Any of the following must be declared:

  • Financial interests relevant to the manuscript that occurred in the last 5 years
  • Collaboration or co-authorship with one of the authors in the last 5 years
  • Current, or in the last three years were, shared an affiliation with one of the authors
  • Any other relationships, including beyond the above timeframes, that could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest

Guidelines for Reviewers

To support reviewers, and in particular those early in their career as reviewer, a Guideline for Reviewers is available to assist them through the peer review process; from deciding whether to accept a review invitation, to reviewing a manuscript and preparing the review report.

Reviewer Guidelines


Becoming a Reviewer

Information on the benefits of being a reviewer for a Karger journal and how to volunteer can be found on Engage with Us and Get Recognized.

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