In cases where the journal is unable to find sufficient peer reviewers, the services of a publishing partner, Research Square, may be used to identify suitable reviewers and provide reports to avoid further delays for authors. Reviewers recruited by Research Square are paid a small honorarium for completing the review within a specified timeframe. Honoraria are paid regardless of the reviewer recommendation.
BMC Public Health operates an open peer-review system, where the reviewers' names are included on the peer reviewers' reports for authors. In addition, if the article is published, the named reviewers' reports are published alongside the article under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. Previous versions of the manuscript and all author responses to the reviewers are available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
In cases where reports have been obtained by Research Square, the peer review reports will be unsigned unless the reviewer opts in to sign the report.
Benefits of open peer review
The benefit of open peer review is that it increases transparency. The peer reviewers and Editors are fully accountable for the decisions made, bias is reduced as reviewer reports are named, published reports can serve an educational purpose in helping facilitate training and research into peer review, and reviewers can get credit for their work.
Manuscripts submitted to BMC Public Health are assessed by our editors and/or peer reviewers. Overall editorial responsibility for the journal is with the Editor. The Section Editors provide oversight for manuscripts submitted to their section with Associate Editors acting as handling editors.
BMC Public Health is part of the BMC series which publishes subject-specific journals focused on the needs of individual research communities across all scientific and clinical disciplines. We do not make editorial decisions on the basis of the interest of a study or its likely impact. Studies must be scientifically valid; for research articles this includes a scientifically sound research question, the use of suitable methods and analysis, and following community-agreed standards relevant to the research field.
Specific criteria for other article types can be found in the submission guidelines.