ARP Rheumatology
ARP Rheumatology

Information for Reviewers

Before writing the review

– Is this topic relevant to our journal?

– Does it address an important subject?

– Is there a clear hypothesis or aim stated?

– What does the study add to the current knowledge?

– Is there a clear clinical message?

– Which category does this manuscript best conform?

– Is the methodology adequate?

– Is the study original? Has it been previously published?

– Is the study timely?

– Are there any potential biases in reviewing this manuscript?



– Does the title convey the content of the manuscript accurately?

– Should not contain acronyms

– As concise as possible



– The abstract must appropriately summarize the manuscript;

– Should be understood without reading the manuscript.;

– Discrepancies between the abstract and the main body of the manuscript should be depicted;

– The abstract must contain the aim/objectives stated in a clear (not vague) and intelligible language;

– For original articles the authors should include: 

  . Objectives: the major objective of the study;

  . Methods: how the study was performed;

  . Results: the study findings;

  . Conclusions: report whether the major goal was met.



– Do authors provide a rationale for performing the study based on a review of the literature?

– Is the purpose of the study clearly explained?

– If the manuscript is an original article, is the hypothesis well defined?

–  Is the introduction succinct?

– The purposes of the introduction are:

  . to provide the rationale for the study

  . to explain the study’s goals

– The reviewers must address if the manuscript will bring a true new contribution to the medical knowledge:

  . does this manuscript cover an important topic?

  . has the research question been previously answered (was the topic of the manuscript well covered before)?



– Inadequate methodologies can lead to unreliable results.

– Ethical requirements need to be guaranteed

  . Has confidentiality been maintained?

  . Have accepted norms for the ethical treatment of animal or human subjects been respected?

  . Informed consent (if applicable)

  . Does the article copies previously published work? (Plagiarism)

  . Are the results in any way fraudulent?

– Are the methods reproducible?

  . Could other investigators reproduce the study using the methods as outlined and are they stated clearly?

– Are the methods suitable for the research question?

  . Do authors justify their choices for the study design (e.g. statistical methods, outcome measures, imaging techniques, etc)?

  . Do methods allow the stated hypothesis to be tested?

–  Which type of research is it?

  . Observational/experimental?

  . Single case/case series/case control/cohort?

  . Randomized, controlled and blinded?

  . Meta-analysis?

  . Prospective or retrospective?

  . Cross-sectional or longitudinal?

– Is there summary information about the patient or experimental group(s), including length of follow up?

–  Statistical considerations:

  . Sample size calculation: are there enough patients/experiments to draw clear conclusions?

  . Have the correct tests been used to compare outcomes?

  . Is there a clear description of the applied tests ?



– Are the results clearly explained?

  . Poorly executed analysis of the data

  . Poorly organized results

– Does the order of presentation of the results parallel the one of the methods?

– Are the results reasonable and expected, or are they unexpected?

– Are there results that were not introduced in the Methods section?



– Is the study discussed against the background of current knowledge (include discrepancies)?

– Are the authors’ conclusions based in the study results?

– Is there a clear clinical or scientific message?

– Was the initial hypothesis verified or falsified? Or if no hypothesis was proposed, was the research question answered?

– Are the results interpreted accurately?

– If there are unexpected results, do the authors adequately discuss them?

– Do the authors note limitations of the study? Are uncertainties and biases discussed? Are there additional limitations that should be highlighted?

– Is there either missing or duplicate information?

– Is the discussion concise? Where should it be shortened?


Tables and figures

– Accurate with a clear structure and presentation?

– Are data consistent with the body of the paper?

– Are figures and graphs appropriate and labelled?

  . Are they understood without referring to the remainder of the manuscript?

– Avoid duplication of data

–  Do the figures and graphs adequately show the important results?

– Would a different figure better illustrate the findings?

– Do arrows need to be added to depict important or subtle findings?



– Does the reference list respect the journal’ guidelines?

– Does the reference list contain errors?

– Are there important references that are not mentioned and that should be noted?

– Are there more references than are necessary?


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