Peer-review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether the manuscript should be published in their journal. You can read more about the peer-review process here.
In cases where the journal is unable to find sufficient peer reviewers, the services of a publishing partner, Research Square, may be used to identify suitable reviewers and provide reports to avoid further delays for authors. Reviewers recruited by Research Square are paid a small honorarium for completing the review within a specified timeframe. Honoraria are paid regardless of the reviewer recommendation. With Research Square, a double-blind peer review system is in operation.
In cases where reports have been obtained by Research Square, the peer review reports will be unsigned unless the reviewer opts in to sign the report.
BMC Psychology operates a transparent peer-review system, where, if the article is published, the reviewer reports are published online alongside the article under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 but the reviewer is not named.
The benefit of transparent peer review is that it increases transparency. In addition, published reports can serve an educational purpose in helping facilitate training and research into peer review.
From 2016-2020, BMC Psychology ran a pilot trial on results-free review. The aim of this trial was to reduce publication bias and emphasize the reproducibility of the study. This model of peer-review involved blinding the editors and reviewers to the results of a completed study, and focused the editorial decisions on the rationale and methods alone. If the manuscript (excluding results and discussion) was accepted for publication, peer review of the entire manuscript subsequently took place to ensure the results and conclusions did not deviate unjustifiably from the research question and methodology. Authors could opt-in at submission for their manuscript to be included in the trial, if not, the paper went through the journal's standard peer-review. Read more about this completed trial here.
Manuscripts submitted to BMC Psychology are assessed by our editors. All published articles are peer-reviewed. Overall editorial responsibility for the journal is with the Editor, with Editorial Board Members acting as handling editors.
BMC Psychology is part of the BMC series which publishes subject-specific journals focused on the needs of individual research communities across all areas of biology and medicine. We do not make editorial decisions on the basis of the interest of a study or its likely impact. Studies must be scientifically valid; for research articles this includes a scientifically sound research question, the use of suitable methods and analysis, and following community-agreed standards relevant to the research field.
Specific criteria for other article types can be found in the submission guidelines.