Guide to Referees

Guide to Referees

Peer review
The Life Research editors are very appreciated for the reviewers whose thoughtful comments and critiques are essential to improve the quality of the articles. Reviewers should keep the confidential information to themselves. Three types of contribution to Life research journal are peer-reviewed: Articles, Reviews, Hypothesis. We recommend peer-reviewers to submit their reports via our online system. For any general questions and comments about the peer-review process, the journal or its editorial policies, we encourage reviewers to contact us by e-mail.

Peer Review Policy

Traditional Medicine Research follows a double blind peer review process to ensure impartial editorial decision-making; that is, the reviewers do not know who the authors of the manuscript are, and the authors do not have access to the information of who the peer reviewers are. All submissions to Traditional Medicine Research are assessed by an editor, who will decide whether they are suitable for peer review. If an editor is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. Submissions felt to be suitable for consideration will be sent for peer review by appropriate independent experts. Editors will make a decision based on the reviewers’ reports and authors are sent these reports along with the editorial decision on their manuscript. Authors should note that even in light of one positive report, concerns raised by another reviewer may fundamentally undermine the study and result in the manuscript being rejected. 

Information for Reviewers
Authors may suggest potential reviewers if they wish. However, whether or not to consider these reviewers is at the editor's discretion. Authors should not suggest recent collaborators or colleagues who work in the same institution as themselves. Authors who wish to suggest peer reviewers can do so in the cover letter and should provide institutional email addresses where possible, or information which will help the editor to verify the identity of the reviewer.
Authors may request exclusion of individuals as peer reviewers, but they should explain the reasons in their cover letter on submission. Authors should not exclude too many individuals as this may hinder the peer review process. Please note that the editor may choose to invite excluded peer reviewers.
Intentionally falsifying information, for example, suggesting reviewers with a false name or email address, will result in rejection of the manuscript and may lead to further investigation in line with our misconduct policy.
Applications to Review for Life Research
We appreciate applications to join our community of peer reviewers. Our Academic Editors select reviewers on a manuscript-by-manuscript basis. In each case, the most relevant scientists will be invited. To provide up-to-date contact details, interested reviewers should register a  reviewer account.
How to Peer Review for Life Research
The reviewer report should comprehensively critique the submission, consisting of more than a few brief sentences. A suggested format is:
Major issues
Minor issues
We encourage reviewers to help authors improve their manuscript. The report should give constructive analysis to authors, particularly where revisions are recommended. Where reviewers do not wish authors to see certain comments, these can be added to the confidential comments to the Academic Editor.
While expectations vary by discipline, some core aspects that should be critiqued by reviewers may include:
Are the research questions valid?
Is the sample size sufficient?
Is there necessary ethical approval and/or consent and was the research ethical?
Are the study design and methods appropriate to answer the research question?
Do the experiments have appropriate controls?
Is the reporting of the methods, including any equipment and materials, sufficiently detailed that the research might be reproduced?
Are statistical tests appropriate and correctly reported?
Are the figures and tables clear and do they accurately represent the results?
Has previous research by the authors and others been discussed and have those results been compared to the current results?
Are there any inappropriate citations, for example, not supporting the claim being made or too many citations to the authors' own articles?
Do the results support the conclusions?
Are limitations of the research acknowledged?
Is the abstract an accurate summary of the research and results, without spin?
Is the language clear and understandable?
To help authors receive timely reviews, reviewer reports should be submitted via the Manuscript Tracking System or Email on or before the agreed deadline. Reviewers should contact TMR if they are unable to meet the deadline so an alternative date can be arranged.

Reporting Guidelines
Traditional Medicine Research does not mandate the use of reporting guidelines by authors, however, we encourage reviewers to use relevant reporting guidelines to help assess the submission. The EQUATOR Network and FAIRsharing list clinical and general science guidelines, respectively. We particularly encourage the use of:

CONSORT for randomized controlled trials

TREND for non-randomized trials

PRISMA for systematic review and meta-analyses

CARE for case reports

STROBE for observational studies

STREGA for genetic association studies

SRQR for qualitative studies

STARD for diagnostic accuracy studies

ARRIVE for animal experiments

Reviewers are therefore required to respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond the information released by the journal. If reviewers wish to involve a colleague in the review process they should first obtain permission from the journal. The editor should be informed of the names of any individuals who assisted in the review process when the report is returned.

The primary criterion

To be published in a Life Research journal, a paper should meet five general criteria:
1. Relevant to the science of human life.
2. Provides strong evidence for its conclusions.
3. Novel (Especially from interdisciplinary perspective).
4. Of certain importance to scientists in multiple fields.
5. Interesting to researchers in all related disciplines.

Life research focuses on the following areas
1. The effect of religion, society, behavioral therapy, martial arts, mental intervention, meditation and the arts on human life and health.
2. The life science in traditional medicine theory.
3. Tumor biology, stem cells and tissue engineering, artificial organs, aging and anti-aging research, neurophysiology and brain science, and the interaction of microbes and the human body.
4. The influence of society and civilization on the quality of life.
5. The origin of human life, human evolution, ethnic difference and developmental biology.
6. The impact of biological rhythms, time and territory, weather and outer space on human life.
7. Big data and bioinformatics, artificial intelligence and human-machine integration.
8. Bioethics issues, such as the influence of organ transplantation, test-tube baby, drug addiction, homoeroticism and antenatal training on human life.
9. Tissue engineering and genetic engineering.
The review process

We encourage reviewers to focus their reports on objectively critiquing the scientific aspects of the submission, including soundness of the methodology and whether the conclusions can be supported by the results. Comments may also be given on novelty and the potential impact of the work. Reviewers provide a recommendation to accept, revise, or reject; however, the decision will be made by the Academic Editor. Only those papers that seem likely to meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers. The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice:
1. Accept, with or without editorial revisions
2. Revise their manuscript to be acceptable for publication before a final decision is reached, including major revision and minor revision.
3. Reject temporarily and permit resubmission
4. Reject and no more resubmission.



Please tell us if you were unable to fully assess any particular part of the manuscript when it is outside the scope of your expertise. After declined manuscripts are transferred to another journal in the TMR publish group the referee comments are also transferred, and can be used to determine the suitability of publication at the receiving journal.