Peer Review Policy & Process

Peer Review Policy & Process

BNJ's peer-review policy is committed to maintaining the highest standards of publication ethics and to supporting ethical research practices. The journal editors follow the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors and refer reviewers to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Allegations of misconduct are investigated in accordance with the COPE Best Practice Guidelines as far as is practicable.


Double-blind review

This journal operates a double blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. 

Double-blind review means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:

Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.

Blinded manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.


Peer Review Process

As a reviewer, you will be notified by e-mail of an invitation to review a journal article. The e-mail will come embedded with hyperlink invitation responses.

Clicking the appropriate hyperlink sends the response to the journal's editorial office whether you are able to review or not. In conducting the review, reviewers are presented with review forms according to type of articles. 

After a manuscript is submitted, it is reviewed by a Managing Editor. If the manuscript passes the first editorial review, it is then sent to an Editorial board member to review and assign external reviewers for double-blind peer review, or the Managing Editor directly send the manuscript to reviewers. For editorials and letters to editors, the decision is made in the first editorial review. In all cases, reviewers will be asked to declare any conflict of interest based on the contents of the manuscript. If a conflict of interest exists, the reviewers are requested to decline to review the manuscript.

If the reviewer accepts the offer to review the manuscript, they can download complete manuscript and fill a Manuscript Review Form (typically a free form). The reviewers are needed to provide an objective critical assessment of the manuscript about the concept of the study, relevance in relation to current scientific knowledge, scientific content, language, and grammar. If the manuscript needs changes for improvement before it is accepted for publication, please make the suggestions on how to improve it. If the comments are negative please help the authors in improving their manuscript by explaining weaknesses in scientific content or language. Any offensive language in the comments cannot be tolerated. 

Each reviewer is required to take an initial decision about the acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. However, the final decision is made by Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor. The decision includes:

  1. Accept Submission: it is ready to go to Copyediting as is.
  2. Revisions Required: it requires minor changes that can be reviewed and accepted by the editor.
  3. Resubmit for Review: it requires major changes and another round of peer review.
  4. Resubmit Elsewhere: it doesn’t seem like a good fit for the focus and scope of this journal.
  5. Decline or Reject Submission: it has too many weakness to ever be accepted.


Ethical Guidelines

COPE has published its Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, outlining "the basic principles and standards to which all peer reviewers should adhere during the peer-review process". These can be accessed here.

In addition, peer reviewers should:

  • only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner;
  • respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal;
  • not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others;
  • declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest;
  • not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations;
  • be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments;
  • acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner;
  • provide BNJ with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise
  • recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct.

Cases of suspected misconduct

Allegations of misconduct or cases of suspected misconduct are investigated in accordance with the COPE Best Practice Guidelines as far as is practicable.

Guide to reviewing manuscripts

Useful guidance to reviewing journal manuscripts is available on Nurse Author & Editor.
Advice on writing peer reviews is available at: and


It is very hard to specify what a good review is and to give advice to new reviewers who ask for advice. Editors spend a great deal of time discussing the quality of reviews and who the best reviewers are. The review process is crucial to the enterprise of academic publishing. The reviews are all different but they have some features in common: they are all polite, they are all specific about what needs to be changed and where, and they are all meant to be helpful to the editor processing the manuscript and the authors who may be asked to revise their paper.


Reviewers' Recognition

Belitung Nursing Journal is member of Reviewer Credits. Completing the peer-review you are invited to, will qualify you to the third-party certification provided by this organization and assign you credits which may be used on Reviewer Credits online store. Register now a free Reviewer Credits account and get ready to start. Find out more here HERE.