Peer Review Process

This section provides a brief overview of the peer review process at Annals of Breast Surgery (ABS).

1. Review criteria

Manuscripts are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • the material is original and timely;
  • the manuscript is written clearly and in accordance with the guidelines for authors;
  • appropriate study methods have been used;
  • the data are valid;
  • the conclusions are reasonable and well supported by the data;
  • the information contained in the manuscript is important, topical, and medically relevant.

2. Peer Review Mode

ABS uses single-blind peer review, which means the identity of the peer reviewer is kept confidential, but the author’s identity is made known to the reviewer.

Normally, every manuscript is reviewed by at least two reviewers. However, sometimes the opinions of more reviewers are sought. Peer reviewers are selected based on their expertise and ability to provide high quality, constructive, and fair reviews. For research manuscripts, the editors may, in addition, seek the opinion of a statistical reviewer.

The existence of a manuscript under review should not be revealed to anyone other than the peer reviewers and editorial staff. Peer reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to the manuscripts they review and must not divulge any information about a specific manuscript or its content to any third party without prior permission from the journal’s editors.

Information from submitted manuscripts may be systematically collected and analyzed to help improve the quality of the editorial or peer-review processes. Identifying information remains confidential. Final decisions regarding the publication of manuscripts are made by the Editorial Office.

3. Provenance and Peer Review

ABS is committed to transparency. Commissioned articles or articles that undergo rapid communication (fast-track review) will be published with a description of their provenance (i.e., commission or reasons for rapid communication) and how the review was organized (i.e., with or without external peer review). For articles published without external peer review (usually non-research articles, e.g., editorials, interviews, or other editorial materials), the reviews are completed directly by the editors.

4. Transparent Peer Review

With a commitment to openness and accountability, and to increase the level of transparency throughout our peer review process, ABS has implemented a transparent peer review process as an option for all manuscripts submitted from March 19, 2020. For more detailed information, please refer to: http://abs.amegroups.com/announcement/view/131.

5. Online review system

To ensure the most convenient and efficient peer review process possible, our peer reviews are conducted electronically via the OJS system, which can be accessed through the journal’s website (http://abs.amegroups.com/login), and AME’s online review system, “AME Bond between Editors and Reviewers” (“ABER” for short). Here is a link to the ABER system: http://www.theaber.com/home.

AME Bond between Editors and Reviewers (ABER) was designed and launched by AME Publishing Company with the goal of connecting our editorial teams and reviewers. Editorial staff can upload manuscripts that are ready for review, release the task description on the ABER system, and monitor the review process. Researchers can register to become ABER members (with valid identity verification). They can then use keywords to search for the subject area in which they are interested, and register their interest in a manuscript they wish to peer review. Researchers are also able to share their thoughts or comments via the ABER system. What’s more, for every manuscript they peer review, they will be rewarded with “AME points” which allow them to purchase various items in the AME online store, including, but not limited to, medical books and journals.

6. Recognition for Reviewers

ABS’s publisher AME has entered into an official partnership with Publons, as of April 2020. The partnership enables the contributions of our expert peer reviewers to be easily recognized. ABS’s peer review system is now integrated seamlessly into the Publons platform: https://publons.com/journal/218555/annals-of-breast-surgery. As part of the review submission process, reviewers of ABS can now opt-in to Publons, and the review data can be transferred to Publons upon submission. For more information, please refer to: http://abs.amegroups.com/announcement/view/136.

7. Peer review flowchart

  1. Handling Editors pass the submitted manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief.
  2. Depending on the topic of the submitted manuscript, the Editor-in-Chief passes the article to an Editorial Board member with related expertise.
  3. The assigned Editorial Board members with related expertise review the manuscript or recommend external reviewers to the Editorial Office. A literature search may be conducted to identify appropriate external experts.
  4. External experts review the manuscript.
  5. The external experts make recommendations.
  6. The recommendations are sent to the Editor-in-Chief, along with a review from the assigned member of the Editorial Board.
  7. The Editor-in-Chief makes a decision on the manuscript, for which there are four options: accept, minor revision, major revision, or reject.

Note:
Generally, all research articles, reviews and clinical case-based articles should undergo the standard peer review process, as outlined above. However, if an article is approved for the Rapid Communication Pathway, it will undergo a rapid review process, facilitated by previous peer review comments and revisions obtained after rejection from another esteemed journal. In such cases, there will be a “Provenance and Peer Review” statement in the footnote of the article.

To assure impartial decision-making and to avoid any potential conflicts of interest, authors with a position in the journal’s editorial team will be excluded from any editorial handling of their manuscript (including reviewing, editing, and the final decision). Articles from the Editor-in-Chief will be assigned to an Associate Editor or, in cases where the Associate Editor is not available, to an Editorial Board Member with related expertise. After the review comments have been received from external reviewers, the manuscript will be returned to the Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member to make a final decision.

8. Submission turnaround time

  • In-house review: 1-3 weeks
  • External peer review: 1-3 months
  • Publication ahead of print: within 1 month after being accepted
  • Formal publication: within 1-3 months after being accepted
Note: Original Articles are listed as priority.

Updated on August 03, 2020