KCJ Peer Review
- Accept, with or without editorial revisions
- Invite the authors to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision is reached
- Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission
- Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular paper may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which a decision should be based. Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other. Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the scientific community at large, and in deciding how best to serve them, we must weigh the claims of each paper against the many others also under consideration. We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. We therefore ask that reviewers should be willing to provide follow-up advice as requested. We are very aware, however, that reviewers are usually reluctant to be drawn into prolonged disputes, so we try to keep consultation to the minimum we judge necessary to provide a fair hearing for the authors. When reviewers agree to assess a paper, we consider this a commitment to review subsequent revisions. However, editors will not send a resubmitted paper back to the reviewers if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the criticisms. We take reviewers' criticisms seriously; in particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. In cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, we may consult the other reviewers as to whether they are applying an unduly critical standard. We occasionally bring in additional reviewers to resolve disputes, but we prefer to avoid doing so unless there is a specific issue, for example a specialist technical point, on which we feel a need for further advice.
- Reviewers should review the peer review policy of the Journal before revealing their reviewer role.
- Reviews should be conducted objectively.
- Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate, as are defamatory/libelous remarks.
- Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments and references.
- Reviewers should declare any potential competing interests.
- Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts with which they believe they have a competing interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
- Reviewers should respect the confidentiality of material supplied to them and not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in their own work.
- Any reviewer who wants to pass a peer review invitation onto a colleague must contact the journal in the first instance. We ask reviewers the following questions, to provide an assessment of the various aspects of a manuscript:
- Key results: Please summarise what you consider to be the outstanding features of the work.
- Validity: Does the manuscript have flaws which should prohibit its publication? If so, please provide details.
- Originality and significance: If the conclusions are not original, please provide relevant references. On a more subjective note, do you feel that the results presented are of immediate interest to many people in your own discipline, and/or to people from several disciplines?
- Data & methodology: Please comment on the validity of the approach, quality of the data and quality of presentation. Please note that we expect our reviewers to review all data, including any extended data and supplementary information. Is the reporting of data and methodology sufficiently detailed and transparent to enable reproducing the results?
- Appropriate use of statistics and treatment of uncertainties: All error bars should be defined in the corresponding figure legends; please comment if that’s not the case. Please include in your report a specific comment on the appropriateness of any statistical tests, and the accuracy of the description of any error bars and probability values.
- Conclusions: Do you find that the conclusions and data interpretation are robust, valid and reliable? Suggested improvements: Please list additional experiments or data that could help strengthening the work in a revision.
- References: Does this manuscript reference previous literature appropriately? If not, what references should be included or excluded?
- Clarity and context: Is the abstract clear, accessible? Are abstract, introduction and conclusions appropriate?
Please indicate any particular part of the manuscript, data, or analyses that you feel is outside the scope of your expertise, or that you were unable to assess fully.
Please address any other specific question asked by the editor via email.
It is our policy to remain neutral with respect to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations, and the naming conventions used in maps and affiliation are left to the discretion of authors. Referees should not, therefore, request authors to make any changes to such unless it is critical to the clarity of the scientific content of a manuscript.
Double blind peer reviewKCJ offers a double-blind peer review option. Authors who choose this option at submission remain anonymous to the referees throughout the consideration process. The authors are responsible for anonymizing their manuscript accordingly; a checklist is provided to help with this process.
Transparent peer reviewKCJ uses a transparent peer review system, where we are publishing the reviewer comments to the authors and author rebuttal letters of revised versions of our published research articles, as well as the editorial decision letters for some of the journals listed above. Authors are provided the opportunity to opt in to this scheme at the completion of the peer review process, before the paper is accepted. The peer review file is published online as a supplementary peer review file. Although we hope that the peer review files will provide a detailed and useful view into our peer review process, it is important to note that these files will not contain all the information considered in the editorial decision making process, such as the discussions between editors or any confidential comments made by reviewers or authors to the editors.
Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process and the selection is based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics. For instance, we select referees who are quick, careful and provide reasoning for their views, whether robustly critical or forgiving.
We check with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that these messages contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.
Kidney Cancer Journal strive toward a diverse demographic representation within our reviewer database. We would therefore like to strongly encourage authors who suggest reviewers to provide a diverse list of their peers, in particular with respect to gender and geography.
● Editor(s) are expected to obtain a minimum of two peer reviewers for manuscripts reporting primary research or secondary analysis of primary research. It is recognized that in some exceptional circumstances, particularly in niche and emerging fields, it may not be possible to obtain two independent peer reviewers. In such cases, Editor(s) may wish to make a decision to publish based on one peer review report. When making a decision based on one report, Editor(s) are expected to only do so if the peer review report meets the standards set out below.
● Peer review reports should be in English and provide constructive critical evaluations of the authors’ work, particularly in relation to the appropriateness of methods used, whether the results are accurate, and whether the conclusions are supported by the results. Editorial decisions should be based on peer reviewer comments that meet these criteria rather than on recommendations made by short, superficial peer reviewer reports which do not provide a rationale for the recommendations.
● Editor(s) are expected to independently verify the contact details of reviewers suggested by authors or other third parties. Institutional email addresses should be used to invite peer reviewers wherever possible. Each manuscript should be reviewed by at least one reviewer who was not suggested by the author.
● Manuscripts that do not report primary research or secondary analysis of primary research, such as Editorials, Book Reviews, Commentaries or Opinion articles, may be accepted without peer review. Such manuscripts should be assessed by the Editor(s) if the topic is in the area of expertise of the Editor(s); if the topic is not in area of expertise of the Editor(s), such manuscripts should be assessed by at least one independent expert reviewer or Editorial Board Member.
When two independent peer reviewers cannot be secured in unlikely rare scenario, the Editor may act as a second reviewer or make a decision using only one report.
● Editor must have a sufficient amount of knowledge in the area if acting as a second reviewer
● Editor should sign the review to ensure transparency in the peer review process
● Any single reports should be detailed and thorough
● The first reviewer should be senior, on topic and have published recently on the subject
Potential peer reviewers should inform the Editor of any possible conflicts of interest before accepting an invitation to review a manuscript. Communications between Editors and peer reviewers contain confidential information that should not be shared with third parties.
Some journals allow authors to suggest potential reviewers, and to request that some be excluded from consideration (usually a maximum of two people/research groups). Editors will consider these requests, but are not obliged to fulfill them. The Editor's decision on the choice of peer reviewers is final.
Authors should not recommend recent collaborators or colleagues who work in the same institution as themselves. Authors can suggest peer reviewers in the cover letter. Information which will help the Editor verify the identity and expertise of the reviewer will be required. This includes the suggested reviewer’s institutional email address and ORCID or Scopus ID.
Access to the literature
The following conventions should be respected: