Peer Review for publications is the process adopted by journals to gather feedback on scientific papers and manuscripts from scientific experts to evaluate the strength, rigor and validity of reported research. Peer Review in the scientific publication process serves to build public and professional trust in the science, provides feedback to researchers to improve their scientific methodologies and manuscripts, and helps publishers to identify the most important research findings for publication. 

Each journal or publisher will have their own standards and expectations for peer reviewer conduct and you should always consult with your journal or publisher for guidance; however, many journals and publishers follow similar standards. Two of the most commonly followed ethical guidelines for journals and publishers are:

Committee on Publication ethics (COPE)

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

HMS Faculty and researchers who participate in peer review are reminded that integrity and confidentiality within the peer review process is mandatory.  If you have concerns about your responsibilities as a peer reviewer or you become aware that the confidentiality of the peer review process has been breached, you should contact the journal or publisher who engaged the reviewer.

The HMS Office for Academic and Research Integrity is also available for consultation regarding peer review integrity concerns:; Phone: (617) 432-1343