Basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere

Peer reviewers should:

1. Only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess on time.

2. Respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review at any stage of the peer-review process.

3. 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.

4. Declare all potential conflicting interests, seek advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest.

5. 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.

6. Be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments.

7. Acknowledge that peer review is essentially a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing on time.

8. Provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise.

9. Recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct.

Kindly read the complete Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers is, available at COPE's website: