Outline reviewer guidelines

The full guidelines are available here

  • The work should have a clear rationale, setting out its purpose/problem to be addressed
  • The introduction should set the scene with reference to earlier work and context
  • The methods or approach should be appropriate and used properly
  • Results (where applicable) should be valid and be set out in a way that makes sense, with proper use of tabulations, figures, quotations, diagrams, etc.
  • The discussion should contextualise the results/development in relation to other published work
  • Any recommendations should flow from the discussion
  • Limitations should be recognised
  • The conclusions should be concise and flow from the discussion
  • Whether the work represents a research study or otherwise, it should have a logical structure with a clear thread running through it
  • NB: For some papers the IMRAD format is not appropriate. This may include papers describing a data resource, a data linkage study protocol, an opinion piece, an infrastructure development, amongst others. Please contact the Editor-in-Chief for advice if needed.

If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer and joining the IJPDS international panel of PDS experts, then now is a great time to seize the opportunity to get involved whilst the call is open.

All you need to do is email us directly using contact@ijpds.org with your name, organisation, area/s of expertise, and contact details.

We look forward to welcoming you to the team!

Peer reviewing for IJPDS

The International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS) is unique in bringing together all aspects of Population Data Science (PDS) in one place. From new technology, to big data, information governance to public engagement, IJPDS is the open access publication for authors working with data pertaining to people and populations.

IJPDS places great importance on the content of the manuscripts, the impact of a study and the robustness of research when considering authors’ work for publication. With quality at the heart of what we do, our international peer review panel is essential in ensuring we maintain consistently high standards of published manuscripts through its rigorous blind review process.

As a result of receiving an overwhelming response to both the general and special issue calls for manuscripts, we have been increasing the size and complexity of our reviewer panel.

Population Data Science spans numerous fields and whilst we welcome anyone working within PDS to join, we have particular interest in recruiting experts in the following areas:

  • Analysis of free-text data
  • Architectures and infrastructures
  • Clinical IT systems
  • Data protection legislation and regulation
  • Disease registers
  • Ethics and ELSI (ethical, legal & societal implications)
  • GIS (geographic information systems) / spatial data analysis
  • Information / data governance
  • Information security
  • Machine Learning
  • Metadata development
  • Privacy-preserving methodologies, including SDC (statistical disclosure control) and PPRL (privacy-preserving record linkage)
  • PROMs (Patient reported outcome measures)
  • Public engagement
  • Survey data
  • Use of apps

The benefits of peer reviewing

Peer reviewing can be very rewarding bringing numerous benefits and a great way to enhance ones career. Experts that review on a regular basis can gain recognition as leading experts in their field, it is a valuable addition to your CV when applying for jobs, and it ‘ticks a box’ for additional scholarly activity. Peer reviewing other’s work can also help you to improve your own submissions.

Dr James Doidge, Senior Research Associate, Administrative Data Research Centre for England explains, "Being a peer reviewer for IJPDS gives me insight to the editorial process and helps me keep abreast of research being conducted in the field of population data science. Perhaps most importantly, critically reviewing other researchers' manuscripts gives me a better understanding of how to prepare my own papers in such a way as to increase their likelihood of making it through peer review and transferring knowledge to the readers who are our ultimate targets."

This is particularly true for early career or up and coming PDS professionals. Learning how to be a good reviewer will teach you how to be a good author as highlighted by Professor Sinead Brophy, Swansea University Medical School who says, “Reviewing can give ideas for your own work. Other researchers often use methods or alternative ways of doing things that you might not have thought of yourself. Seeing other people’s approaches and datasets also gives ideas for collaborations and helps you get to know other people in the field doing similar work.”

Senior Research Officer and Statistician Rowena Bailey says, "the journal is fantastic and most worthy of support. It also comes with the benefit of gaining insight into upcoming research publications and opportunities to consider how best to articulate statistical and methodological considerations for fellow researchers, so being reviewer has reciprocal benefits to me."


10% discount on APCs for IJPDS peer-reviewers

All peer-reviewers who go on to publish a manuscript in IJPDS within 12 month of conducting a review will be awarded a 10% discount on the standard article processing charges.*


Do you have what it takes to be a peer reviewer?

If you are new to peer reviewing and unsure whether you have sufficient expertise in your field to get involved, then here is a holistic view of the qualities a peer-reviewer should have.

Firstly, if you are considering peer reviewing then chances are you already have sufficient expertise to get involved. Peer-reviewers are not all high-level professionals and thought leaders with enviable levels of expertise gained from years of experience in their field. With the right combination of skills and knowledge, and a generous helping of enthusiasm, less experienced peer reviewers can add enormous value to the overall peer-review process.

An effective peer reviewer will acknowledge that they can’t be an expert in all aspects of a topic presented to them for review, and will focus mainly on the elements most pertinent to their particular knowledge and expertise. So for example, if you are a statistician then comment on the statistics, if you are a data analyst then question the datasets etc.

Moreover, remember – you are not alone! Two or three people, each from their own angle of expertise, will review a manuscript and collectively this should produce a thorough review for the authors and Editors to determine the next action.

So, armed with the confidence of knowing that you can make a valuable contribution in terms of your expertise, here are some other essential qualities a peer reviewer will need:

Thoroughness – Journals have a responsibility to their authors to turn around manuscripts from submission to (hopefully) publication within the shortest possible time. Peer reviewers that can review quickly and accurately whilst consistently meeting the deadlines are key to helping this process run smoothly. The ability to determine the overall validity of a manuscript along with thorough and detailed proofreading skills are essential to quality control.

Fearlessness – At least not being afraid to give carefully considered feedback. Authors submitting to a peer-reviewed journal understand and expect their research to be returned with comments and suggestions. So be bold, exercise your expertise, and give constructive feedback with comments or suggestions that will help the author. Be prepared to question, for example, the validity of the research question, the robustness of the methods employed, how valuable the research is to the particular subject area, and offer the author suggestions as to how their research could be improved upon.

Conscientiousness – It is fair to say not all peer-reviewers are equal and Editors will soon get a feel for how reliable each member of the review panel is. Put yourself in the shoes of the author (a situation that you have already, or are likely to, find yourself in) and always make sure that you are able to respond to any request to review a paper promptly. Also, be aware of potential unintentional bias that can quite easily creep in to your review of a manuscript and try to remain unbiased throughout the process.

Open communication – Following on from conscientiousness and keeping the author’s best interests at heart, a valued peer-reviewer will read the manuscript in full as soon as it arrives. On doing so, if you feel that you are unable to provide a fair review for any reason, then notifying the editor immediately will enable them to re-assign the paper to another reviewer quickly to avoid unnecessary delays for the author. Reliable communicative peer reviewers will always stand out from the crowd!

Altruistic – Well, perhaps you also want to boost your career, but essentially reviewing is all about helping your peers to attain the highest quality of work and adding real value by helping improve the standards of published research. High quality research stimulates further research; it creates real impact, and ultimately improves the lives of everyone.

Join the IJPDS Peer Reviewer Panel

If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer and joining the IJPDS international panel of PDS experts, then now is a great time to seize the opportunity to get involved whilst the call is open.

All you need to do is email us directly using contact@ijpds.org with your name, organisation, area/s of expertise from the list below, specialist subject areas, and contact details.

  • Technical Environments
  • Matching and Data Linking
  • Data Preparation & Analysis Methods
  • Data Governance/Law/Ethics
  • Public Engagement
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Research Methods - Qualitative
  • Research Methods - Quantitative
  • Impact and Policy Making
  • Cohorts and Disease Registers
  • Emerging Data Types
  • GIS/Spacial Data Analysis
  • Other (please specify)

We look forward to welcoming you to the team!

*To qualify for the 10% discount, a reviewer must conduct a thorough peer-review upon request, and then submit an article within 12 months of completing the review. Requests to review articles are based upon the areas of expertise required for the content of a particular manuscript and therefore, we cannot guarantee that every IJPDS peer-reviewer will qualify for this offer.

Thank You to all our Peer Reviewers!

IJPDS is grateful to our extensive international panel of peer reviewers for your ongoing support for the journal and to the field of Population Data Science.

Since the journal’s inception in 2017, IJPDS has developed an enviable international reputation as the leading journal in Population Data Science, and we recognise the vital role that our reviewers have played in our achievements.

There is no question that the consistently high quality of articles and integrity of the science published in IJPDS is strengthened with the help of our talented reviewers, and so we would like to thank each one of you individually.

  • Ashley Akbari, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Bethania de Araujo Almeida, The Centre for Data and Knowledge Integration - Cidacs Fiocruz, Brazil
  • Mahmoud Azimaee, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Canada
  • Lew Berman, National Institutes of Health, United States of America
  • Chrianna Bharat, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Kenneth Camargo Jr, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Elizabeth Ann Carson, Department of Justice, United States of America
  • Anirudh Cingireddy, East Central University, Oklahoma, United States of America
  • Taya Collyer, Monash University, Australia
  • Nergis Dama, Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey
  • Rui Dang, Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Fida Dankar, United Arab Emirates University, Canada
  • Katrina Davis, King's College London, United Kingdom
  • Giorgio Di Gessa, University College London, United Kingdom
  • James Doidge, Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre, United Kingdom
  • Cathy Eastwood, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Ferran Espuny Pujol, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Leanne Findlay, Statistics Canada, Canada
  • Felicity Flack, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Michael Flemming, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Elizabeth M Ford, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, United Kingdom
  • Antonia Gieschen, Edinburgh University, United Kingdom
  • Ruth Gilbert, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Malcolm Gillies, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Astrid Guttmann, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Canada
  • Amani Hamad, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Gillian Harper, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  • Amy L Hawn Nelson, University of Pennsylvania, United States of America
  • Thomas Howarth, University of Maryland, United States of America
  • Oliver Hugh, Perinatal Institute, United Kingdom
  • Rachel Jackson-Gordon, University of Illinois, United States of America
  • Magdalena Janus, McMaster University, Canada
  • Matthew Alexander Jay, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Rhodri David Johnson, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Mehmet Kayaalp, National Institutes of Health, United States of America
  • Russell S. Kirby, University of South Florida, United States of America
  • Theodora Kokosi, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Arron Lacey, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Sônia Regina Lambert Passos, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil
  • Kira Leeb, Victorian Agency for Health Information, Canada
  • David Lindenbach, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Lisa Lix, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Derrick Lopez, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Yang Lu, York St John University, United Kingdom
  • Kei Lui, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Kamil Malikov, Ontario Ministry of Health, Canada
  • Louise Mc Grath-Lone, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Rod M Middleton, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Alison Miller, University of Michigan, United States of America
  • Ros Moran, EKOS, United Kingdom
  • Elizabeth Nelson, Ulster University, United Kingdom
  • Sia Kromann Nicolaisen, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Amy O'Hara, Georgetown University, United States of America
  • Donna O'Leary, TUSLA, Ireland
  • Chris Orton, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Katherine O'Sullivan, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
  • Sachin Pandey, Oracle Data Science, United States of America
  • P Alison Paprica, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Julia Pescarini, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
  • Rachel Plachcinski, City University of London, United Kingdom
  • Carol Porteous, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Chandra Prakash Yadav, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Mirela Prgomet, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Maggie Reeves, Urban Institute, United States of America
  • Felix Ritchie, University of West of England, United Kingdom
  • Michael Rosato, Ulster University, United Kingdom
  • Heather Rouse, Iowa State University, United States of America
  • Neil Rowland, Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Leslie Samuel, NHS Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Namneet Sandhu, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Jan Savinc, Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom
  • Michael Schull, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Canada
  • Zachary Haskell Seeskin, University of Chicago, United States of America
  • Merran Beckley Smith, Population Health Research Network, Australia
  • Danielle A Southern, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Rona Strawbridge, Glasgow University, United Kingdom
  • Lorena Suarez-Idueta, Mexican Society of Public Health, United Kingdom
  • Mark Taylor, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Nicki Tiffin, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Ming Hwa Ting, National Council of Social Service, Singapore
  • Karen Susan Tingay, Office for National Statistics, United Kingdom
  • Fatemeh Torabi, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Julia Townson, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  • Ayse Ulgen, Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
  • Dinusha Vatsalan, CSIRO, Australia
  • Rémi Viné, Geneva Graduate Institute, Switzerland
  • Olugbemisola W. Samuel, University of Maryland, United States of America
  • Linda Wijlaars, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Francesca Zanasi, University of Bologna, Italy

Publishing the Peer Review History

The International Journal of Population Data Science is now publishing the full peer review history alongside each of its articles from January 2023 onwards.

Why we are publishing reviews?

We believe that providing access to peer reviews is a valuable source of information for the Population Data Science community.

Publishing the interactions and comments between reviewers, authors and editors makes our ‘behind-the-scenes’ processes transparent as we reveal each step of the IJPDS process that goes towards ensuring scientific quality is at an optimum.

Providing access to the peer review history offers readers a broader perspective on the research within each article than just reading the final publication alone. Manuscript submissions are rarely ever published without additional work in the form of a series of revisions by the authors based upon feedback from peer reviewers, and it is important to share this insightful process of manuscript development with our readers.

IJPDS has an incredible peer review panel of international experts who dedicate their time to evaluate, validate and even shape the research, and who help to ensuring our high standards of scientific publication. Making their comments and recommendations visible is an incredibly valuable resource for other researchers.

Publishing peer reviews also has the potential to improve of the overall quality of review reports, steering our reviewers to produce comments that are more constructive thereby improving the overall quality of our published content. And, providing access to reviews is a particularly valuable source for learning how to perform a really good review, for both practicing and less experienced reviewers.

Publishing peer reviews without compromising anonymity

Although we are opening up access to the full historic content from the peer review process, we would like to point out that IJPDS reviewers will continue to remain anonymous as the default. All reviewers will be presented with the opportunity to opt-in to publishing their name if they so wish, as open reviews are useful as a pathway for crediting the work that they have undertaken and providing reviewers with tangible evidence for their peer review activity.

IJPDS commitment to high quality publishing

For IJPDS, the move to publishing peer reviews is another step forward in providing greater transparency for authors and readers of the articles we publish, which in turn, we believe will lead to further continuous improvements in the journal. Our decision is intended to provide the scientific community a more rounded understanding of each paper, to present readers with insights and essential learning from being able to read the accompanying reviews, to help uphold the practice and high standards of peer review, and to fulfil the IJPDS ambition to continue as the leading journal for Population Data Science research.

If you have any questions about IJPDS publishing peer reviews, you are welcome to contact Sharon Hindley at any time: contact@ijpds.org.uk