For Reviewers

Guidelines for Reviewers

Toho Journal of Medicine (“the Journal”) peer review process depends upon the professionalism of its volunteer reviewers. All reviewers are experts in the field of research therefore they are in the best position to judge the quality and importance of the work.

Peer Review Process

  1. The author submits a manuscript and it receives a manuscript identification number.
  2. The Editorial Office performs technical evaluation to check the manuscript's formatting and styles according to the Instructions for Authors.
    An editor screens the manuscript and decides whether or not to send it for full peer review. If the decision is not to send the manuscript for review, the editor sends a decision letter via e-mail with the decision of immediate rejection.
  3. If the editor decides to send the manuscript for a full peer review, the editor assigns generally 2 reviewers from the Editorial Board to the manuscript.
  4. Reviewers agree to review the manuscript.
  5. Reviewers reviews the manuscript submit their reports to the editor.
  6. The editor reviews the reviewers' reports and makes a decision.
  7. The editor contacts the author with the decision.
  8. If the author receives the opportunity to revise the paper, he/she revises the paper according to the review comments and resubmits. The paper then goes through the same process above, but the editor may choose to accept the paper without further review by the reviewers.

The Journal expects that peer review is fair, unbiased and timely. Decisions to accept or reject a manuscript for publication are based on the manuscript's importance, originality and clarity, the study's validity and its relevance to the Journal's aim and scope.

The Journal supports and adheres to the guidelines and best practices including Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals ( by the International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (a joint statement by the Committee on Publication Ethics [COPE], the Directory of Open Access Journals [DOAJ], the World Association for Medical Editors [WAME] and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association [OASPA];

The points below provide general guidelines for reviewing. Please read the instructions and required ethics and policy statements, along with the journal instructions thoroughly. If you have any questions, please contact the Editorial Office. Email:

1. Ethical Responsibilities of Reviewers

A) Timeliness

Please remember that the deadline for your review comment is 2 weeks from the day you agreed to review. If it is not possible to meet the deadline, please contact the editorial office immediately so that we can decide whether to wait or assign alternate reviewer.

B) Conflict of Interest for Reviewer

Any potential conflicts of interest on your part must be brought to the attention of the editor before you begin the review process. If you are involved, in present or in the past, in any part of the research presented in the manuscripts, including but not limited to, financial interests, belonging to the same institution as any of the author(s), collaborating with the authors, other relationships or connections, both professional or personal, with any of the authors, companies, or institutions related to the manuscript, which might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review, you should decline the role of reviewer and inform the editor so that another individual can be invited to review the manuscript.

C) Confidentiality

The review process will remain strictly confidential.

D) Constructive comments

Provide objective and constructive feedback in their reviews to encourage the author to improve their writing. When you find negative aspects, suggest concrete ways to overcome the shortcoming. Refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making derogatory personal comments.

E) Impartiality

Reviewer comments should be based on an impartial consideration of the facts, exclusive of personal or professional bias. All comments should be based solely on the paper's scientific merit, originality, and quality of writing as well as on the relevance to the Journal's scope and mission, without regard to race, ethnic origin, sex, religion, or citizenship of the authors.

F) Competence

You should accept an assignment only if you have adequate expertise to provide an authoritative assessment. If you think certain aspects of a manuscript are outside your expertise or realize that their expertise is limited, you should contact the editorial office so that we can decide whether to assign alternate reviewer(s).

G) Manuscript You Have Previously Handled

If you are invited to assess a manuscript they previously reviewed for another journal, please consider the manuscript as a new submission. In such case, the authors may have made changes according to the previous reviewer's comments and the Journal's criteria for evaluation may differ from those of the other journal.

H) Ethical Policies

Please note any suspicious evidence of the ethical misconducts and bring it to the attention of the editor immediately. Please see our publication ethics policies here.

2. Invitation for Peer Review

A) General Process

Reviewer invitations are sent by email from the submission system. Use the links in the email to accept or decline. The invitation includes the manuscript details such as the title and the abstract which may help you to determine whether the subject of the manuscript is within your area of expertise.

If you are unable to agree to review a manuscript, please click the appropriate link in the e-mail to let us know the reason. In such case, it would be appreciated if you suggest another potential reviewer.

If you agree to review a manuscript, you will receive a notification via e-mail about how to log-in to our online system to access the manuscript in PDF or HTML format, and instruction for submitting your comments by using the system.

B) Revised Manuscript

The revised version is normally sent back to some or all of the original reviewers for re-review. If you are assigned to review a manuscript you previously reviewed, please ensure that changes requested in the original review have been made, rather than for raising additional issues.

3. Your Comments

A) General Guidelines

B) Points to Consider

Points to consider in your review include:

C) Confidential Comments to the Editor

In the Journal's peer review management system, there is a section titled “Confidential Comments to the Editor”. Your comments entered to this section will be made accessible only to the handling editor and the EIC authors. The comments will not be sent to the Authors. If there are any possible conflicts of interest, ethical issues, or any other comment you wish not to be shared with the authors, please make a comment in this section.

D) Comments to the Authors

Your peer review comments should include an introductory paragraph, which includes your overall impression of the paper. This paragraph should be followed by specific comments, which may be divided into two sections such as major and minor points. Your comments are sent to the author as a part of the decision letter. However, please keep in mind that it is inappropriate to include any statements related to the acceptance or rejection of the paper.

E) Decisions on Manuscript Publication

All decisions on the manuscript publication, which include acceptance, major or minor revisions, and rejection are made by the editors of the Journal when all the reviewer reports are submitted.