Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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MPPA indexed by MEDLINE.

Medical Problems of Performing Artists
Information for Peer-Reviewers

Revised July 5, 2018

Thank you for agreeing to provide a peer-review

Peer-review is critical in promoting high-quality scientific research. The entire scientific and clinical community benefits when the peer-review process is timely, thorough, and balanced. The editors of MPPA depend on and greatly appreciate the tremendous collective contribution that reviewers make to the journal.

The primary purpose of peer-review is to provide the editors with the information needed to reach a decision. However, the review also should instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their paper, with revisions to make it acceptable for the journal. When possible, a negative review should explain to the authors the major weaknesses of the manuscript, so that the authors can understand the basis for the decision and improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere. All comments made on your review form (aside from those marked as confidential) will be given to the authors.


MPPA is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication, which is valuable for its authors but also helps speed the flow of new information to the scientific and clinical community as a whole. We ask reviewers to return their reviews promptly within the time agreed–generally in 2-3 weeks. If a delay develops, please let the editor know so that the authors can be informed and, if necessary, alternatives found.

Anonymity and confidentiality

Editors and reviewers are required to keep confidential all details of papers under review. Information about the paper's content, its status, reviewers' reports, and correspondence with the journal must not be discussed, disclosed, used, or otherwise shared. The manuscript is the sole property of the authors, and copies of the manuscript should be destroyed after reviews are complete. If a reviewer wants to seek advice from colleagues while assessing a manuscript, please consult with the editor first. Reviewers must not use, for any purposes, unpublished information from the manuscript they are reviewing before it is published.

Reviews done for MPPA are blind. The authors' names, institutions, and other identifying information are removed from the manuscript before it is given to reviewers. The identities of referees are not disclosed to authors or to other reviewers.

Conflict of interest

Reviews are to be conducted in an impartial way, and reviewers should disclose to the editor any potential for conflict of interest that could bias their opinions before they begin to review the submitted manuscript. Reviewers should contact the editor if they receive a paper for review that they suspect is from a colleague or research partner, including former ones, or if the topic of a paper is a current research focus or may overlap with your own research in a way that might influence the review. MPPA takes steps to ensure submitted manuscripts are blinded before they are sent for review, but if you find information that may identify the authors or institutions involved, please contact the editor to discuss.

Peer-review process

Manuscripts submitted to MPPA that are selected for peer-review are each sent to two or more independent reviewers for comment, including to a separate statistical reviewer when necessary. Authors are asked to suggest suitable reviewers and may also request that the journal exclude any individuals. The reviewers' comments are compiled by the editor before being sent to the authors; a copy of the compiled comments, without the co-reviewers' identities, will be shared with reviewers on request.

For the sake of editorial consistency and fairness to the authors, referees may be asked to review the revised manuscript following revision of an earlier version that they reviewed. MPPA will attempt to handle minor revisions editorially to reduce cycles of resubmission and reviews, but it may depend on reviewers for re-review when requested revisions are extensive or specialized.

MPPA adheres to ICMJE and COPE guidelines.

Writing the review

MPPA does not routinely edit referees' reports before sending these to the authors. Any comments in the peer-review form intended for the authors are transmitted, usually verbatim.

Reviewers should consider the following questions and considerations in order to provide a thorough assessment of the various aspects of a manuscript:
  • Summary: At the start of your comments, please summarize in a few sentences the study objectives, design, and main results.
  • Suggestions for editorial decisions should be based on the relevance of a manuscript to the journal and on the manuscript's originality, quality, methods, and contribution to the overall evidence about performing artists' health and healthcare.
  • Validity: Does the manuscript have flaws that should prohibit its publication? If so, please provide details.
  • Ethics/IRB approval: MPPA screens for approvals before sending papers for review and will blind this information from reviewers' manuscripts. Reviewer's comments should omit requesting these because it may lead to identification of institutions.
  • Originality & significance: Are the results presented in the manuscript of immediate interest to many people in your own discipline and/or to people from several disciplines? If the conclusions are not original, please provide relevant references in your comments to the editor. Negative findings are not necessarily unimportant; if a paper is repetitive of other well-documented findings, please note this in the comments to the editor, as the paper may be better suited for a specialty journal.
  • Data & methods: Please comment on the validity of the methods, quality of the data, and quality of presentation. Is the reporting of data and methods sufficiently detailed and transparent to enable reproducing the results? Are the study question and study type clearly stated? Is the recruitment of subjects, including methods and inclusion/exclusion criteria, explained? Are the instruments or interventions under investigation clearly explained?
  • Structure: Original research manuscripts should generally follow the IMRaD format as explained in the ICMJE recommendations. Reporting guidelines should be followed as appropriate for different study designs: e.g., STROBE for observational studies, PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and CARE for case studies.
  • Statistical analysis: Please comment on the appropriateness of any statistical tests and the accuracy of probability values. Separate review by statistical reviewers will be done in parallel, when necessary.
  • Conclusions: Are the conclusions and data interpretation robust, valid, and reliable? Do the conclusions logically follow from the data?
  • Suggested improvements: Please list additional tests, analyses, or data that could help strengthening the work in a revision. Does the discussion identify and relate pertinent results from the literature? Does it discuss alternative explanations and study limitations?
  • Review manuscripts: All review manuscripts must describe the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. For systematic reviews, authors should follow PRISMA guidelines.
  • References: Does the manuscript reference previous literature appropriately? Are the references current and do they cite the most pertinent research? If not, what references should be included or excluded?
  • Tables, figures: Are these clear and understandable? Are they sufficient or necessary to explain the research and outcomes? If these are unnecessary or superfluous, please suggest reductions.
  • Language, grammar, spelling: After acceptance, papers will be copyedited for language, style, and grammar before publication. Reviewers do not need to list every misspelling or grammatical error–a few examples will suffice–but do note if errors are extensive. For papers that are not English proficient, these will be copyedited to improve understandability and it is not necessary for language to be perfect before acceptance. If you feel the paper is extremely difficult to understand or would warrant use of a professional translation service, please note it for the authors and editor.
  • Text length: Papers will vary in length according to content, with recommendations for typical papers listed below. Reviews will usually be longer. Text length is not unlimited, and the acceptance of excessively long papers may delay the publication of other important research papers. If a paper can be reduced in length, by limiting wordiness or discussion not central to the research question, please note this for the authors and indicate appropriate areas for reduction.
    Original articles -- 3500 words, 40 refs, 6 tables and/or figures
    Brief/case reports -- 1800 words, 15 refs, 3 tables and/or figures
    Letters -- 750 words, 5 refs, 1 table and/or figure
Returning the review

MPPA's peer-review form, sent to reviewers when they agree to review a paper, is a fillable Word document. Please save the form to your computer and rename it. The form can be completed by typing in the boxes and checking the appropriate squares. Save the file to your computer and return it as an attachment to the editor.

Reviews should be returned to the editor, with a copy sent to .

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