Reviewer Guidelines

The goal of JISRF and Reconstructive Review is to provide peer-reviewed, open-access orthopaedic articles focusing on total joint arthroplasty. To achieve this goal we rely on those individuals who are willing to take on the responsibility, and privilege, to review articles written by their peers. The following are some general guidelines to outline the purpose, good practices, and responsibilities of our reviewers.

The purpose of peer review

  • To ensure Quality of Work: The reviewer must check that no mistakes in procedures or logic have been made by the authors.
  • The results presented by the authors supports the conclusion drawn – the reviewer must be satisfied that all evidence presented can be justified.
  • Any previous work that is cited in the research must be supported by evidence within the new research and be easily trackable.
  • The author is responsible for ensuring that their research has followed all necessary protocols – especially in the case where animals and humans have been involved.
  • The reviewer must be satisfied that all of the work is original and significant – they must raise concerns to the editor if they do not believe this to be the case.
  • The reviewer must feel that the research is relevant to the publication.
  • The peer review process should offer protection for both the publication and author.

Good review practices

  • Reviewers should treat a article being reviewed as he or she would want their own paper reviewed. For example they should provide a critique that is positive, critical yet objective, and balanced.
  • It should never be possible for a reviewer to pass personally offensive comments. We make it the responsibility of the Editor to filter out any comments rather than them being automatically displayed to the author.
  • Any author will want a speedy decision on their paper – and a journal with a fast turnaround will be getting submissions in on that basis – therefore the reviewer should review the paper promptly.
  • The reviewer should provide precise information as to what the problems are and how they could be overcome. In EM we provide the option for the reviewer to be able to download the paper – to annotate comments and to then be able to upload a sanitized version for the editor,. The editor can then decide if they would like the author and/or other reviewers to be able to see those comments.
  • A critique that does not provide any way forward is not helpful to the editor or to the author.
  • Analysis of the review process should be on-going and changes should be made to improve this.

Responsibility of the reviewer

  • To give an informed opinion about the article based on their own experiences.
  • It should be an honest, critical assessment of the research which highlights the strengths and weakness of the research.
  • To provide suggestions for improvement and state what changes need to be made to raise the level of enthusiasm for the work.
  • Points that they raise should not manipulate the process to get issues addressed when they are not relevant to the study.
  • Confidentiality is a key requirement – the existence of the article and the authors must not be made known public before it has been published.
  • If the research of the author covers the same area that the reviewer is currently researching – they must not use the material for their own benefit.
  • They must disclose any conflicts of interest.
  • They must only review papers that are within their own areas of expertise – unless they are specifically asked to give a ‘non-expert’ opinion.
  • They must adhere to the timescales as set out by the publication or at least alert the publication if there are to be delays.
  • If they suspect plagiarism, duplicate publications fraud or any ethical concerns they must bring these to the attention of the editor preferably providing evidence - is a difficult position for an Editor to be faced with having to address this type issue and they must do so based on hard evidence.

The Peer Review Process

The process of peer review assures the quality of the content in the articles, with the goal being new knowledge and skills that are of practical benefit to the readers of Reconstructive Review.

Two reviewers and one alternate reviewer are usually chosen for each article. Reviews are evaluated by the Managing Editor, who makes the preliminary decision to accept, decline, or ask the author to revise the article. Reviewers must have experience above that of the resident level (ie, usually doctors who are in midcareer).

The peer reviewer determines whether the article is substantive and accurate, with appropriate scope and in sufficient detail. The topic should not be too broad or general. Constructive comments and suggestions are meant to challenge the author to improve the article where necessary and to guide the author in presenting the material clearly and concisely. The reviewer must remain fair and unbiased in the critical appraisal of the material.

Double-blinded Review Process and Timeframe

Reviews are double-blinded; that is, reviewers and authors are not informed of each other’s identities during the review process. If the reviewer, Managing Editor, and/or Editor-in-Chief feel more revisions are deemed necessary a submission may undergo several reviews.

  • Reviewers must take care not to identify themselves, their patients, or their institutions within the body of their comments.
  • Reviews are read by the assigned Managing Editor, who makes the preliminary decision to accept or decline, or to ask the author to revise the article. The Managing Editor may also request that the reviewer comment on an extensively revised article that he or she had reviewed previously in an earlier version.
  • Reviews are to be returned in a timely manner, within 2 weeks of invitation, as determined by the Editorial Board of Directors. Because the Managing Editor’s decision must wait until all reviews are complete, a delay by a single reviewer slows the editorial process. Agree to review an article only if you have the proper expertise and are confident that you meet the deadline.

Preparing Your Review

Please consider the following when accepting an invitation and/or preparing your review.

  • If you have a conflict of interest (eg, you believe that you know who the authors are or you work with one of them, you have worked on a paper with one of the authors, or you have a financial, professional, personal, intellectual, political, or religious interest/disagreement with the text), respond to your review invitation by letting the editor know of your conflict of interest. Full disclosure allows for an informed decision.
  • If you notice that the article has substantial similarity with a concurrent submission to another journal or to a published article, or if you have ethical concerns about the work (eg, you suspect that results cited may be untrue or fraudulent, or you suspect unethical treatment of humans or animals in the studies described), it is your responsibility to alert the Managing Editor of your concerns. You should not conduct any personal investigations into suspected misconduct or contact the authors (should you become aware of their identities) unless the editorial office asks for further information.
  • Your ethical responsibility as a reviewer is to not make use of material under your review prior to publication, and you must not publicly discuss the article or use knowledge of it to further your own interests.
  • Requesting the opinion of a colleague may be appropriate in some circumstances, but you should always let the editor know beforehand. This also applies if you decide to enlist the help of a junior colleague in preparing your review, and you should include his/her name and affiliation in your confidential comments to the editor.
  • After submitting your review, please do not keep electronic or hard copies of the article. The article and its review are confidential.

Review the Structure of the Article

As a reviewer, you may also wish to familiarize yourself with the Journal’s Instructions for Authors, available on the Reconstructive Review website ( Your review will analyze the material according to the components of a standard review article. If the article deviates significantly from these guidelines, please indicate this in your comments.

  • Title: Succinctly describes the paper and is not in sentence form.
  • Abstract: Presents the main points of the paper. Authors are to avoid general statements that “tell” rather than “show” (eg, ask an author to change “This article examines risk factors in this population” to a statement of facts, “Prophylaxis should be used in patients with such risk factors as respiratory failure and hypotension.”)
  • Introduction: If pertinent, this paragraph identifies the matter under discussion and presents background information, relevant statistics and history, and etiology. 
  • Body: The author reviews the pertinent literature, discusses any controversies or debates, and examines the state of the art. Published studies that are discussed, for the most part, should be no more than 5 years old. However, it is acceptable to use older references when discussed in a historical context. When pertinent, treatment methods, such as surgical versus nonsurgical management, are discussed. Figures, tables, and algorithms should be called out appropriately in the body of the paper. The authors’ discussion of best treatment methods and personal experience, when applicable, are included here.
  • Summary: More than simply a repetition of the text, this section reiterates the nature of the problem or the controversy, provides a clear conclusion based on the literature and the author’s experience, and frequently suggests a role for ongoing study and future directions.
  • References: For a standard review article, this section should number about 40 sources. For an Orthopaedic Advances article, 20 sources are sufficient. At least a quarter of the references should have been published within the past 5 years. Cited studies should be original research published or in-press in the peer-reviewed literature, rather than textbooks, abstracts, or poster presentations. However, citation of textbook chapters is permitted when the context requires it. Personal communications are never allowed.
  • Figures: Line drawings, radiographs, tables, and algorithms should be called out appropriately within the body of the paper. Please verify the information presented in tables agrees with the text, and the legends clearly and accurately describe the images.
  • Tables: Tables must be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited in the text. A title must be provided for each table, and each column must have a heading. Tables from another source must contain the same bibliographic information as required for a reference.

Blinded Comments to the Author

Structure your comments and recommendations, as follows:

  • General Comments: Typically, open your review with a paragraph that summarizes the content of the article.
  • Specific Comments: The bulk of your review will be a detailed, numbered list of your specific concerns. Be sure to include the article page number and line number (if available) for each comment. This is important because the corresponding author will be able to provide a point-by-point response to each of the comments when submitting a revision.
  • Closing Comments: Please provide a short paragraph mentioning the overall strengths and weaknesses of the article. Indicate the usefulness or value of the article to the practicing orthopaedic surgeon, residents, and fellows in training.

Submitting Your Review 

When you receive an Article Review Request email it will include a date to log onto the journal website to indicate whether you will undertake the review, and a link to the submission to be reviewed. If you do not know your login information please contact the Managing Editor at

Once you accept the review request you will be able to download the submission manuscript and supplementary files, fill out a review form, upload files for the editor and/or author to consult, and select and recommendation to complete the review.

Become a Reviewer for Reconstructive Review

If you would like to become a reviewer for Reconstructive Review please register. In filling out your Profile you will be required to provide a Username, Password, First Name, and Last Name. Please fill in as much other information as you would like. Be sure to check the box next to Reviewer in the Confirmation Registration section at the bottom of the Profile and to provide some descriptive words of your reviewing interests. General areas of interests include the following:

  • Total Joint Replacement
  • Total Hip Replacement
  • Total Knee Replacement
  • Oncology Related Arthroplasty
  • Tribology
  • Basic Science Related to Total Joint Surgery
  • Biomaterials & Bioengineering
  • Reconstructive Trauma Surgery
  • Reconstructive Spinal Surgery

Please click here to download a PDF version of these guidelines.