Peer Review Process

The Review Process

All submitted manuscripts are reviewed by editorial staff and senior editors prior to commencing peer review. Only those papers that seem most likely to meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal peer review. Papers judged by the editors to be inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review.

Manuscripts that do not report primary research or secondary analysis of primary research, such as Editorials, Book Reviews, Commentaries or Opinion articles, may be accepted without peer review. Such manuscripts are assessed by the Editor(s) if the topic is in the area of expertise of the Editor(s); if the topic is not in area of expertise of the Editor(s), such manuscripts should be assessed by at least one independent expert reviewer or Editorial Board Member.

The journal operates a rigorous process of single-blind peer review. Manuscripts are sent for formal review by two reviewers, prior to the appointed editor making a decision based on the reviewers’ advice. Options at the point of decision are: 

  • Accept
  • Reject with minor revisions
  • Reject with major revisions
  • Reject

Selecting Peer Reviewers

Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics. For instance, we select referees who are quick, careful and provide reasoning for their views, whether robustly critical or forgiving.

We check with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that these messages contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.

We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; the journal strives for diverse demographic representation of peer reviewers. Authors are strongly encouraged to consider geographical regions, gender identities, racial/ethnic groups, and other groups when providing suggestions for peer reviewers.

Writing the Review

The primary purpose of the review is to provide the editors with the information needed to reach a decision, but the review should also instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their paper to the point where it may be acceptable. As far as possible, a negative review should explain to the authors the major weaknesses of their manuscript, so that rejected authors can understand the basis for the decision and see in broad terms what needs to be done to improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere. Confidential comments to the editor are welcome, but they should not contradict the main points as stated in the comments for transmission to the authors.

We invite reviewers to respond to the following questions and prompts, about their own position relative to the author/s, title and abstract:

  1. Conflicts of interest: Do you have any conflicts of interest? If yes, please decline the invitation.
  2. Expertise: Is this manuscript in your area of expertise? If no, please decline the invitation.

We invite reviewers to respond to the following questions and prompts, about their own position relative to the manuscript:

  1. Conflicts of interest: Having read the manuscript, do you have any conflicts of interest that may have become apparent? Please specify.
  2. Expertise: Are there are parts of the manuscript that are outside your area of expertise? Please specify.

We invite reviewers to respond to the following questions and prompts, to provide an assessment of the various aspects of a manuscript:

  1. Originality: Does the article add to what is already in the published literature? If so, what does it add?
  2. Relevance and importance: Is the work likely to be of relevance and important to the work of individuals interested in healthcare simulation?  
  3. Research design: Is the study question/aim clear? Is the research design appropriate for the study aim? Do the results support the conclusions?
  4. Reporting: Does the article adhere to appropriate reporting guidelines and standards?

Please address any specific concerns of requests to the editor.

Reports do not necessarily need to follow this specific order but should document the referees’ thought process. All statements should be justified and argued in detail, naming facts and citing supporting references, commenting on all aspects that are relevant to the manuscript and that the referees feel qualified commenting on. Not all of the above aspects will necessarily apply to every paper, due to discipline-specific standards and article types. When in doubt about discipline-specific refereeing standards, reviewers can contact the editor for guidance. When in doubt about article types, reviewers can contact the editor for guidance.


IJoHS is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication, and we believe that an efficient editorial process is a valuable service both to our authors and to the scientific community as a whole. We therefore ask reviewers to respond promptly within the number of days agreed. If reviewers anticipate a longer delay than previously expected, we ask them to let us know so that we can keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternatives.


We do not release referees' identities to authors or to other reviewers unless a referee voluntarily signs their comments to the authors. To increase the transparency of the reviewing process, reviewers may sign their reports, if they feel comfortable doing so. 

We ask reviewers not to approach authors while the manuscript is under consideration without the editor's knowledge. If this is not practicable, we ask authors to inform the editor as soon as possible.

We deplore any attempt by authors to confront reviewer or determine their identities. Our own policy is to neither confirm nor deny any speculation about reviewers' identities.

Editing Referees’ Reports

As a matter of policy, we do not suppress reviewers' reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content. On rare occasions, we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments that reveal confidential information about other matters. We ask reviewers to avoid statements that may cause needless offence; conversely, we strongly encourage reviewers to state plainly their opinion of a paper. Authors should recognize that criticisms are not necessarily unfair simply because they are expressed in robust language.

Peer Review Publication Policies

Editors, authors and reviewers are required to keep confidential all details of the editorial and peer review process on submitted manuscripts. Unless otherwise declared as a part of open peer review, the peer review process is confidential and conducted anonymously; identities of reviewers are not released. Reviewers must maintain confidentiality of manuscripts. If a reviewer wishes to seek advice from colleagues while assessing a manuscript, the reviewer must consult with the editor and should ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues are provided to the journal with the final report. Regardless of whether a submitted manuscript is eventually published, correspondence with IJoHS, referees' reports and other confidential material must not be published, disclosed or otherwise publicised without prior written consent. Reviewers should be aware that it is our policy to keep their names confidential and that we do our utmost to ensure this confidentiality. We cannot, however, guarantee to maintain this confidentiality in the face of a successful legal action to disclose identity.

IJoHS reserves the right to contact funders, regulatory bodies, journals and the authors’ institutions in cases of suspected research or publishing misconduct.

Official Journal of
Society for Healthcare Simulation, India
Society for Healthcare Simulation, India
Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare
International Journal of Healthcare Simulation is the official journal of the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare, Society for Healthcare Simulation, India and Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare.