Review guidelines

Reviewer guidelines

For instructions how to use our online system, check How to submit a review.

HEPJ publishes peer-reviewed articles in two separate streams – 1) Research and Evaluation (scholarly) and 2) Education in practice (professional). The reviewers play a vital role in this regard by proving objective and constructive feedback to the manuscripts submitted in various streams of HEPJ. The following section provides a guide for reviewers.

Before reviewing

Before you agree to review a paper for HEPJ, please consider the following:

  • Is the research topic outlined in the manuscript in your area of expertise?
  • Is there any conflict of interest?
  • Are you able to complete the review within the timeframe stipulated?

The review

The reviewers are invited to comment on the article content. They do not need to correct spelling and grammar as it will be done at the stage of copy-editing. It is sufficient to note that the manuscript needs spelling or grammatical corrections.

Before commencing review, check for which stream the publication was submitted.

Research and Evaluation 

Articles in this stream need to satisfy criteria for scholarly publications. Please check whether the paper meet the following criteria:


  • Does it clearly describe the article?

Methodology and findings

  • Is the research methodology sound enough?
  • Does the research method align with the research methodology and focus of the research topic?
  • For analytical/quantitative papers, are the required data sources, sampling report, statistical summaries included either within the manuscript or as appendix?
  • For qualitative papers, is a systematic data analysis presented with sufficient descriptive elements and relevant quotes from interviews in addition to the author’s narrative?
  • Are there any errors in the results/findings from the data?
  • Do the author/s sufficiently draw conclusion/inferences from the qualitative/quantitative evidence?
  • Do the results adequately answer the research question?

Discussion and limitations

  • Does the paper draw inferences to inform the body of knowledge and offer further research directions? 
  • Are there any potential limitation or gap identified in the study?  


  • Are there any other citation/referencing error?


  • Is all supplementary information provided?
Education-practice stream

The education-in-practice stream includes professional papers that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reports on results of research and evaluation work-in-progress
  • Information on relevant policies related to education of the health workforce
  • Non-scientific papers outlining any specific discourses or issues related to the evidence-based educational practice
  • Reflections based on literature review or experience of educators/professionals and practice-based researchers.

In this stream, the reviewers should consider the following:

  • Does the manuscript contribute to our insights into health education in practice?
  • Is the manuscript of a professional standard?
  • Is the approach theoretically and/or methodologically sound?
  • Is the information provided correct?
  • Is the structure appropriate for a professional paper?

Review preparation

  • Login to the journal online (ie OJS portal) using your login and password.
  • Download the files, such as main text, figures and tables from OJS portal.
  • Provide a summarised opinion about the article, which expresses your opinion about the novelty and potential impact or contribution of the article to the field of research.
  • Keep your comments factual and do not speculate on the motives of the author(s).
  • Avoid ad-hominem comments.
  • Keep your review short and succinct.
  • Use either of the following techniques to write your review: Provide feedback within the manuscript by track changing option. If you are adding comments, make sure they do not identify your name in the comments. Or collate all of your recommendations on a separate page.
  • Provide specific comments, which will help the author/s to strengthen their argument.
  • Once completed, upload all of the review files into the OJS portal.

Make a recommendation

Once you have reviewed and assessed the quality of a paper, then you need to make a recommendation to the editorial team for further consideration. HEPJ has the following four options:

  • Accept submission – the paper is suitable for publication in its current form.
  • Revision required– the paper will be ready for publication after light revisions. Please list the revisions you would recommend the author/s make.
  • Resubmit for review – the paper would benefit from substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, widening of the literature review, or rewriting sections of the text.
  • Decline submission – the paper is not suitable for publication with this journal or if the revisions that would need to be undertaken are too fundamental for the submission to continue being considered in its current form.

Further review guidelines can be found on COPE guidelines for ethical peer-review.