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Information for reviewers

Becoming a reviewer for Biophysical Journal

To be considered as a reviewer for Biophysical Journal, you will need to have an account in our manuscript-tracking database, Editorial Manager (EM). To create a new account, go to https://www.editorialmanager.com/biophysical-journal(opens in a new window), click "REGISTER," and, when prompted, indicate that you are willing to act as a reviewer. If you have an existing account and would like to make yourself available as a reviewer, click "LOG IN," provide your username and password, click "Update My Information" in the navigation bar at the top of the page, and choose "Yes" next to "Available as a Reviewer?"

Reviewer responsibility

Reviewers’ conflicts of interest

Reviewers should not review manuscripts that include authors with whom they have collaborated within the previous three years. If the reviewer and the authors might be considered competitors, then the reviewer is responsible for disclosing these details to the editor when the review is solicited.

Reviewers’ confidentiality

Reviewers shall not discuss, write about, disseminate, or otherwise use any information from a manuscript that they have received to review, until the article of record has been published. Reviewers have the responsibility to remain anonymous to the authors and shall not contact the authors directly unless prior agreement has been given by the editor.

Timely responses

Reviewers have the responsibility, upon accepting a manuscript, to return their review within the requested time. Reviewers are given 10 days to complete a review and 7 days to complete a re-review.

Conditionally accepting to review

Reviewers who need additional time to review or have special terms should conditionally accept to review through the submission site by emailing the editorial office at bj@biophysics.org. The journal staff will evaluate your conditions and determine if the conditions are acceptable.

Review process

The manuscript peer review process is broken down into the following six steps:

  1. The author submits a manuscript.
  2. The editors decide if the manuscript will be sent to review.
  3. The editors assign reviewers to the manuscript.
  4. The reviewers review the manuscript.
  5. The editors make a decision based on the reviews.
  6. The editors draft the decision letter to the author.

As a reviewer, you are responsible for step #4.

Reviewers are asked to judge whether the manuscript is suitable for Biophysical Journal and whether revisions are needed. They are asked to refrain from including comments in the comments to the author section regarding recommendation for publication. Such comments will be removed. It is the responsibility of the editor to determine suitability for publication.

Navigating the online Editorial Manager system

Biophysical Journal uses Editorial Manager (EM), an online submission and review web application, to coordinate the editorial process. Upon receiving an invitation to review a manuscript, the reviewer logs on to the website to accept or decline the invitation. Once a reviewer has agreed to review a manuscript, they will then be given access to download the entire manuscript as a PDF from the EM site. When the reviewer is ready to submit their comments, they will revisit this site to copy and paste those comments. To ensure that each element of the review is directed appropriately (e.g., to the editors versus to the authors), it is best to submit all comments via the online system rather than via email. Once the review is submitted, EM also allows the reviewer to view the other reviewers' comments to the authors. The editorial office is available to answer all queries related to the review process, including the online EM.

Tips for using the EM website as a reviewer

When you enter your EM username and password, click on the "reviewer login" button. In most cases, pressing the "enter" key will log you in by default as an author—in "author" mode, the EM website will not display the manuscripts you are invited to review.

EM conducts all communication via email. Therefore, when you register for the first time (as author or reviewer), or when you move your lab to a new institution, please double check the EM website to make sure that your email address is updated and correct.

After you have saved your comments online, be sure to hit the "proceed" button to ensure that they are sent to the editorial office.

Several functions of the EM website (including the ability to download revised manuscripts) are blocked by most pop-up blockers, so those pop-up blockers should be turned off while you are using EM.

If you have difficulty in using the blue link (at the top of the relevant page in the PDF) to download the high-resolution version of a figure, try holding down the shift key while clicking on the link.

The EM website preserves reviewer anonymity. Your identity as a reviewer is revealed only to you and the editors; it is not displayed to anyone else (e.g., other reviewers or authors).

If you are concerned that your username or password is too idiosyncratic to remember easily or that it is too simple to provide adequate security, please feel free to change either or both of them. If you have difficulty in doing so, please contact the editorial office, and we will be glad to do it for you.

The EM website does not yet have the capacity to incorporate images or symbols into the body of a review.

Please email bj@biophysics.org to contact the editorial office with questions.