Peer Review Policy

Criteria for Publication: All sorts of articles submitted to Pakistan Heart Journal are peer-reviewed specifically Research Articles, Reviews, Letters, Short Communications, Reports & Case Studies. The article submitted in the category of 'Original Research' presents scientific research that complies with the editorial policies. The experiments performed, analysis and statistical analyses should be according to the technical standards as stated in the journal guidelines and must be explained clearly and sufficient details must be provided. Pakistan Heart Journal encourages the use of simple language and small phrases. Pakistan Heart Journal expects that regardless of category, the content submitted has not been published elsewhere. If the results have been presented as an abstract in a conference, it should be declared at the time of submission.

Peer Review Model: Pakistan Heart Journal offers a double-blind peer review policy for every publication submitted so that the confidentiality of the author and reviewer is maintained in the entire process. Any and all sorts of conflicts of interest must be mentioned in the cover letter. Authors are advised to acknowledge all contributors, but in doing so, they must ensure that their confidentiality and personal details must only be included in the cover letter to maintain the blind peer review policy.

Timeliness: To ensure timely publications, the reviewers are required to respond within the deadline assigned for the review of the respective manuscript.  If delays are to occur, reviewers are supposed to communicate it to the journal editor so that the status regarding the manuscript can be extended to the authors, and other alternatives can be opted by the staff editors.

Review Process: The manuscripts submitted in the Pakistan Heart Journal are reviewed by the staff editors. Thereafter papers that meet the editorial criteria proceed for formal review. Papers remarked by the editors as being of insufficient details or perhaps are inappropriate are rejected promptly without being reviewed externally or, in some cases is sent back to the author for the amendments. Only those papers that meet the editorial criteria are sent for formal review. Those papers judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review or may be sent back to the author for the initial revision. Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent typically to two or three reviewers.

The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from among several possibilities:

  • Accept, with or without editorial revisions
  • Accept, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission
  • Reject, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems

Selecting Peer-Reviewers 

Reviewers are considered to be core professionals in the peer-review process. The editorial decision is determined by the remarks of the reviewers. Once the article meets the internal standards, the editorial board assigns eligible reviewers for the peer-review process. The particular reviewer selected is based on the relevance of the article to the area of specialization of the reviewer; however, the reputation, record and past experience of the Pakistan Heart Journal with the particular reviewer is equally as important.

The journal has a strict policy of blind peer review process, which therefore requires the reviewers to treat the article under process with confidentiality.

The reviewers are supposed to offer their expert opinion about various elements of the manuscript under consideration for publication, including areas such as study design, methodology, statistical analysis and other relevant technical elements.

The reviewer should evaluate the fundamental findings of the study by critically analyzing and drawing comparisons with existing literature on similar research topics. The results of regional studies should be analyzed by adopting a much broader context in order to accurately generalize the outcome of the study.

Even though the relevance of the references is the responsibility of authors, reviewers have to do a detailed and thorough check to assure that the references listed comply with the guidelines of the Pakistan Heart Journals and are stated clearly.

Apart from the technicalities of the content, the reviewers should also focus on more general concerns like language, whether it is understandable for non-technical professionals, whether the authors have dealt with the topic rationally or not, whether authors have provided an elaborate background of the study, etc.

The standard time to review the paper is three weeks. The reviewers should follow the stated deadlines and submit the review in a timely manner.

The comments are communicated to authors without editing. Such communication is important to improve the manuscript. The paper is not accepted until reviewers are satisfied with the explanation of authors.

If the reviewer is unable to keep up the commitment, the editorial board reserves the right to exclude him/her from the panel of Pakistan Heart Journal without any prior notice.

Peer Review Policy for Editors, Employees, or Editorial Board Members

Pakistan Heart Journal holds the same peer-review policy for Employees, or Editorial Board Members submitting their work to the journal as we have for other authors. The major issue in such circumstances is that the editor may come up with conflicts of interest whether he/she should submit to their own journal or not. To minimize all biases in the peer review process, the manuscript is assigned to the associate editor (without names or any identifiable/affiliated information), which is then sent out to 2-3 independent reviewers.