Instructions to Reviewers
There are a few principles somewhat peculiar to the journal that should be presented to you:
1. Consider every manuscript as a candidate for publication
As Dementia Neuropsychologia is not yet indexed, it is possible that a reasonable proportion of the submitted papers will not be of high scientific quality before the peer-reviewer process.
2. Manuscripts can be improved by the peer-reviewer process.
A good reviewer should indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, and may mention how the study could have been designed to reach a firmer conclusion, but should also try to give instruction on how to improve the quality of the manuscript using the available data, or data that are easily accessible by the author(s). Orientation to re-write each part of the manuscript may be included. Guidance on rearranging the statistical analyses is very important and should be added when required.
3. Stimulate authors to proceed in their careers and to submit other manuscripts to Dementia Neuropsychologia.
Irony or acidic criticisms should be avoided. Reviewers should write "as a knowledgeable, courteous colleague advising the author(s)".1 This is particularly important for countries or for areas of study where there is no solid scientific tradition.
4. Avoid vague proclamations; cite the appropriate papers.
For example, if there are other papers that deserve citation in the text, the reviewer should cite them. If the manuscript is not novel, the work that it replicates should be cited.1
5. Every part of the manuscript, from title to conclusion(s) may warrant and receive attention.
The title, abstract and conclusions of a manuscript are extremely important. A good title constitutes the smallest number of words that adequately defines the content of a paper.2 As is often said, few people will read the whole paper, but many will read the title, and if they eventually reach the abstract, they will go on to the conclusions. The conclusion(s) should be clearly supported by the data.
6. Comment on spelling and grammar only if they compromise the scientific integrity of the manuscript.
A final review of the use of the English language will be available for every accepted manuscript.
7. Finally, one of the main roles of this journal is to bring to light papers of high scientific quality that are not well known either because they were published in Portuguese, Spanish or other languages, or because they focus on Third World population. The reviewers should alert the authors to cite these papers, when appropriate.
1. Laine C, Mulrow C. Peer review: integral to science and indispensable to Annals. Ann Intern Med 2003; 139: 1038-1040.
2. Day R. Cómo escribir y publicar trabajos científicos. Washington: OPAS, 1990