microPublication Biology

For Reviewers

Reviewer Guidelines - Overview

microPublications are single research findings with the report containing a brief textual description of the experiment, methods, and controls, usually containing a single figure and/or table.microPublication Biology accepts all experimental findings, independent of subjective evaluation of its perceived impact on the field. Peer review is employed by microPublication Biology to assess whether the microPublication is technically sound and the conclusions justified. Given these criteria, review by a scientist in the field is expected to require minimal time and effort.

It is not generally expected that the authors would need to perform additional experiments. However, on occasion important data/information that is necessary for solidifying a conclusion is missing from a submitted manuscript. In such a case, the reviewer should request the relevant information. Often, the authors have the data or will perform the relevant experiment.

If the data/information is not available, the outcome depends on the nature of the missing data. If the data is viewed as essential for the authors to make the conclusion (e.g., control data missing) then the manuscript should be rejected. If the data is sound and a conclusion can be drawn, but the generality or extensibility of the result is not shown, then a qualification is required; for example, if a novel phenotype is observed in a single allele, but not examined in the reference allele, a qualification should be added to indicate that current data does not distinguish whether the result is specific for the allele tested or a general property of the gene. Here, microPublication Biology believes that getting findings rapidly out to the community assists in advancing the scientific mission, but that it is important to be transparent about limitations that make a conclusion preliminary.

Invited to Review a microPublication

If the Science Officer or Editorial Staff has selected you as a potential reviewer, you will receive an Invitation Email to review the article. That Invitation Email contains the paper title, instructions, signup email address, and a link to the microPublication Portal.

First time reviewers need to create an account by clicking on ‘sign up’ where you provide your Name, User Name, and Email Address. Enter the email address specified in the reviewer invite message. Check your inbox for a validation email to the address you used to set up your account and follow the instructions. NOTE: you will not be able to log in until you have verified your email.

Once in your account, you will see the article you were invited to review on your Dashboard. You can see a preview of the article by clicking preview, you will not be committed to reviewing the article by previewing it.

If you want to review the article click Accept, and you will be prompted to declare any Conflict of Interest(COI). Please Click Decline if you do have a COI or would rather not review the article.

Once you have accepted the option to review the submission expect a reminder in 3 days if you were unable to finish your review. If we do not hear from you within a week we may uninvite you and move on to invite another reviewer.

When you see the article there will be a panel beside the article for you to use to submit your review along with a space to send confidential comments to the editors. You will also have decision buttons about the article to relay your suggestions for acceptance, conditional acceptance, and rejection to the editor.

If you are invited to participate in a Review Panel, follow instructions from the Review Panel leader.

Evaluating a microPublication

Reviewers should evaluate the microPublication for the following:

  • Are results technically sound and adhere to reporting guidelines and community standards?
  • Do those data, and related information (e.g. statistical analysis) support the conclusions drawn?
  • Are the experiments sufficiently explained/referenced so that the findings can be reproduced by other researchers?
  • Is the microPublication presented in a logical progression, in standard English and with appropriate nomenclature?

Decision Options

As a reviewer, you have a number of options to recommend concerning the article. The options are explained below.

  • Accept. This option will be interpreted as accept-as-is.
  • Accept, with minor modifications to figure and/or text
  • Accept, with major modifications to figure and/or text
  • Accept, with either an additional data/experiment or include a caveat concerning the conclusion given the missing information (as well as any additional minor or major modifications)
  • Accept, with the addition of missing essential data; in the absence of this data, then Reject
  • Reject

Be sure to detail any suggested modifications to the article in the Reviewer space. If modifications are requested, enumerate each point the author(s) should address.

The Editors and Science Officer reserve the right to pass along any or all of the suggestions you have for the author.

If you want to convey comments only to the Editor and not to the author, be sure to enter those comments to the “Confidential comments to the editor” section. Comments could include concerns about the data quality, issues related to plagiarism, inappropriate figure manipulation, etc. These comments will not be shown to the author(s).

Open Acknowledgement

Peer-reviewers can choose Open Acknowledgement — a new metric for researcher engagement and value in their field – which will be included in the published article.

If a reviewer does not opt in for open acknowledgement they will be automatically listed as Anonymous.

Too Busy to Review or Not Interested in Reviewing?

If you are too busy to review the article please Decline to review as soon as possible in your Dashboard. We will move on to invite another reviewer and your access to the paper will discontinue.

You can also suggest a senior graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow in your group who has sufficient expertise and could review the submission.

If you do not respond to the initial invitation or are delayed in responding, you will receive a reminder invite after 5 days, again with a link to the article. If, within another 3 days, you still do not respond, you will be uninvited and you will no longer be able to access the paper as another researcher will be invited to be the reviewer.

Become a Reviewer

Reviewing microPublications is intended to be quick -– as short as 15 minutes depending on the article.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer formicroPublication Biology- fill out this google form with your contact details.

Questions? Contact us contact@micropublication.org

Troubles Logging in to Reviewer's Dashboard

  • Check your Invitation email message and make sure you set up your account with the address in the message.
  • You may need to reset your password.
  • Check your inbox for a validation email to the email address you used to set up your account and follow the instructions. NOTE: you will not be able to log in until you have verified your email.

microPublication Biology is published by

1200 E. California Blvd. MC 1-43 Pasadena, CA 91125

The microPublication project is supported by

The National Institute of Health -- Grant #: 1U01LM012672-01

microPublication Biology:ISSN: 2578-9430