Peer Review Checklist

Primary Review | Detailed review – Research articles

Primary Review

  • Is it reporting original research or is it another type of article? How does this change your report?
  • Does the study answer a question or contribute to the field?
  • Is it clear what the authors want to communicate and the direction of the manuscript?
  • Is the manuscript original?
  • What contribution does the article make to the field of study?
  • Are you concerned about the language? Are revisions needed to make it possible to review?
  • Is the overall study design and approach appropriate?

Detailed Review – Research Articles


  • Does it express clearly what the manuscript is about?
  • Does it contain any unnecessary description?


  • Is it a short and clear summary of the aims, key methods, important findings and conclusions?
  • Does it include enough information to stand alone?
  • Does it contain unnecessary information?


  • Does it clearly summarize the current state of the topic?
  • Was a thorough review of preexisting research conducted?
  • Were other research studies properly referenced?
  • Is the rationale for the question provided?
  • Does it address the limitations of current knowledge in this field?
  • Does it clearly explain why the study was necessary?
  • Does it clearly define the aim of the study and is this consistent with the rest of the manuscript?


  • Are the study design and methods appropriate for the research question?
  • Is the study design clear?
  • Are the methods sufficiently detailed so that someone else could repeat what was done?
  • Was the source of subjects discussed?
  • Is it clear how samples were collected or how participants were recruited?
  • Is there any potential bias in the sample or in the recruitment of participants?
  • Are the correct controls/ validation included?
  • Are any potential confounding factors considered?
  • Has any randomization been done correctly?
  • Is the time-frame of the study sufficient to see outcomes?
  • Do you have any ethical concerns?


  • Are the results presented clearly and accurately?
  • Do the results presented match the methods?
  • Have all the relevant data been included?
  • Is there any risk of patients or participants being identified?
  • Is the data described in the text consistent with the data in the figures and tables?

Discussion and conclusion

  • Do the authors logically explain the findings?
  • Do the authors compare the findings with current findings in the research field?
  • Are the implications of the findings for future research and potential applications discussed?
  • Are the conclusions supported by the data presented?
  • Are any limitations of the study discussed?
  • Are any contradictory data discussed?

Tables and figures

  • Are data presented in a clear and appropriate manner?
  • Is the presentation of tables and figures consistent with the description in text?
  • Do the figure legends and table headings clearly explain what is shown?
  • Do the figures and tables include measures of uncertainty, such as standard error or confidence intervals, where required as well as the sample size?
  • Do you have any concerns about the manipulation of data?


  • Are there any key references missing?
  • Do the authors cite the initial discoveries where suitable?
  • Are there places where the authors cite a review but should cite the original paper?
  • Do the cited studies represent current knowledge?


Final checks – before you submit your report

  • Have you given a brief summary of the article and highlighted the key messages?
  • Have you given positive feedback as well as constructive criticism?
  • Have you made it clear which of your concerns are major (significant points, essential for publication) or minor (smaller issues, may not be essential for publication)?
  • Are your concerns specific, with examples where possible?
  • Have you numbered your comments and referred to page/ line numbers in the article to make it easy for the authors to address your points?
  • Is your feedback constructive, and focused on the research?
  • If you were the authors, would you understand how to improve the manuscript?
  • If you were the Editor, would the comments be detailed enough to help you make a decision?
  • Have you checked the spelling and grammar in your report?
  • Have you included your comments in the correct places in the online system – checking that any confidential comments for editors are in the right place – and have you answered all the questions?