About the BJMBR

The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research is an open-access journal published by the Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica. The journal features articles of exceptional significance, originality, and relevance in all areas of biological science, from molecules to ecosystems, including articles at the interface of other disciplines, such as chemistry, medicine, and mathematics. Our audience is the Brazilian and international scientific community as well as educators, policy makers, patient advocacy groups, and interested members of the public around the world.

Criteria for publication

To be considered for publication in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, any given manuscript must be exceptional in the following ways:

  • Originality
  • Importance to researchers in its field
  • Rigorous methodology and substantial evidence for its conclusions

The Review process

All submitted manuscripts judged potentially suitable for the Journal are formally peer reviewed. Manuscripts are evaluated by an Editor working in conjunction with a Section Editor, usually, but not always, from the editorial board. Together, the Editors make a decision based on the reviewers’ comments. There are several types of decision possible:

  • Accept the paper as submitted;
  • Accept with minor revision;
  • Extensive revision – invite authors to revise the manuscript prior to the final decision;
  • Reject the paper, but with encouragement to resubmit it after extensive revison;
  • Reject the manuscript outright, typically because it does not fit the criteria outlined above of originality, importance to the field, cross-discipline interest, or sound methodology.

Although reviewers are welcome to make a particular recommendation, they should do so with the understanding that other reviewers may offer other opinions. When such differences of opinion occur, the Editor and the Section Editor weigh all comments and arrive at a balanced decision based on these. To assist in this process, the reviewer should provide the Editors with in specific information and as many reference as required. A review that clearly outlines reasons both for and against publication is therefore of as much or even more value as one that makes a direct recommendation.

If reviewers appear to disagree fundamentally, the Editors may choose to share all the reviews with each of the reviewers and by this means elicit additional comment that may help the Editors to make a decision. That said, although the reviewers’ comments and opinions on the manuscript are very important, decisions are not made according to majority rule. Instead, the Editor and Section Editor evaluate the quality of the comments and recommendations of the reviewers.

When a paper has been revised in response to comments by reviewers or when authors feel their argument has been misconstrued in review, we ask reviewers to offer additional comments on the revised or contested manuscript. We request that reviewers make themselves available to provide such follow-up advice. We are nevertheless aware that reviewers do not wish to be involved in extended discussions over papers, and we keep such consultations to a minimum while still allowing authors a fair hearing.

Reviewer Selection

The selection of appropriate and responsive reviewers is paramount to the success of the review process. Reviewers are selected for a particular manuscript on the basis of many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations of authors and Section Editors, and the Editor’s own knowledge of a reviewer’s performance.

As part of our editorial procedure, we regularly confer with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that even these initial messages or conversations contain confidential information, which should be regarded as such.

Writing the review

The purpose of the review is to provide the Editors with an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript under consideration. The review should also supply authors with explicit feedback on how to improve their papers so that they will be acceptable for publication in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Although confidential comments to the Editors are respected, any remarks that might help to strengthen the paper should be directed to the authors themselves. The best possible review would answer the following questions:

1. What are the main claims of the paper and how significant are they?

2. Are these claims sufficiently novel? If not, please specify papers that weaken the claims to the originality of this one.

3. Are the claims properly placed in the context of previous literature?

4. Do the data support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?

5. Would any other experiments/data/analyses improve the paper? How much better would the paper be if these were performed, and how difficult would they be to do?

6. Is this paper outstanding in its discipline? If yes, what makes it outstanding? If not, why not?

7. Who would find this paper of interest? Why?

8. If the paper is considered unsuitable for publication in its present form, does the study itself show sufficient potential that the authors should be encouraged to resubmit a revised version?

9. Please document statements of lack of originality whith references.

To submit your report or to respond to an invitation to review for the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, please go to My manuscripts. Detailed instructions how to submit you review in the Manual.

Other Questions for Consideration

In the case of manuscripts deemed worthy of consideration, we would appreciate additional advice from the reviewer on the following:

1. Is the manuscript clearly enough written so that it is understandable to non-specialists? If not, how could it be improved?

2. Have the authors provided adequate proof for their claims?

3. Have the authors treated the previous literature fairly?

4. Does the paper offer enough details of its methodology so it can be evaluated?

Confidentiality

The review process is strictly confidential and should be treated as such by reviewers. Because the author may have chosen to exclude some people from this process, no one not directly involved with the manuscript, including colleagues or other experts in the field, should be consulted by the reviewer unless such consultations have first been discussed with the Editor.

Timely review

The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research believes that an efficient editorial process that results in timely publication provides a valuable service both to authors and to the scientific community at large. We therefore request that reviewers respond promptly, usually within two week of receipt of a manuscript. If reviewers need more time, we request that they contact us promptly so that we can keep the authors informed and, if necessary, assign alternate reviewers.

Anonymity

The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research believes that an efficient editorial process that results in timely publication provides a valuable service both to authors and to the scientific community at large. We therefore request that reviewers respond promptly, usually within two week of receipt of a manuscript. If reviewers need more time, we request that they contact us promptly so that we can keep the authors informed and, if necessary, assign alternate reviewers.

Editing Reviewers Reports

The Editors and Brazilian Journal staff do not edit any comments made by reviewers that are intended to be read by the authors unless the language is deemed inappropriate for professional communication or the comments contain information considered confidential. Such remarks should be reserved for the confidential section of the review form, which is intended to be read by the Editors only. In their comments to authors, reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language. On the other hand, authors should not confuse frank and perhaps even robust language with unfair criticism.

Conflicts of Interest

As far as possible we respect requests by authors to exclude reviewers whom they consider to be unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest, such as those who may have been collaborators on other projects with the authors of the manuscript under review, those who may be direct competitors, those who may have a known history of antipathy with the author(s), or those who might profit financially from the work. Because it is not possible for all such competing interests to be known by a particular Editor, we request that reviewers who recognize a potential competing interest inform the Editors or journal staff and recuse themselves if they feel that they are unable to offer an impartial review.

When submitting a review the authors must indicate whether or not you have any competing interests.

On occasion, reviewers may be asked to offer their opinion on a manuscript that they may have reviewed for some other journal. This is not in itself a competing interest. That two journals have identified the same person as especially well qualified to judge the manuscript under consideration does not in any way decrease the validity of that opinion and may perhaps even enhance it.

Feedback to Reviewers

We send all reviewers’ comments along with the decision letter to all reviewers of a manuscript. Reviewers who may have offered an opinion not in accordance with the final decision should not feel that their recommendation was not duly considered or their service not properly appreciated. Experts often disagree, and it is the job of the editorial team to make a final publication decision.