Publication and the Peer Review Process

Peer-review policies

Contributors to New Jersey Pediatrics benefit from fast and professional peer review. After an initial screening and approval for general suitability, Editors Puthenmadam Radhakrishnan, MD, FAAP, Michael Weinstein, and Marcela Betzer, MPH assign submissions for external peer review. The journal operates on a blind peer- review policy and aims to reach a first decision by two reviewers within six weeks of submission. New Jersey Pediatrics is supported by an authoritative Editorial Board augmented by experienced pediatric specialists and sub-specialists.

Criteria for publication

New Jersey Pediatrics considers the following types of content for publication:

  • Abstracts: The abstract must outline the most important aspects of the study while providing only a limited amount of detail on its background, methodology and results. Authors need to critically assess the different aspects of the manuscript and choose those that are sufficiently important to deserve inclusion in the abstract. Abstracts must adhere to the following design – Title, Author(s), Purpose, Methods, Conclusions, Recommendations, References, IRB Notification
  • Articles: more in-depth information on any subject within the scope of the journal. Articles must adhere to the following design – Title, Author(s), Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, References, IRB approval when
  • Case Report: reports of clinical cases focusing on:
    • Unreported or unusual side effects or adverse interactions involving
    • Unexpected or unusual presentations of a
    • New associations or variations in disease
    • Presentations, diagnoses and/or management of new and emerging
    • An unexpected association between diseases or
    • An unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a
    • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse

Case Reports submitted to New Jersey Pediatrics should make a contribution to medical knowledge and must have educational value or highlight the need for a change in clinical practice or diagnostic/prognostic approaches. They should include relevant positive and negative findings from history, examination and investigation, and can include clinical photographs, provided these are accompanied by written consent to publish from the patient(s). Case Reports should include an up-to-date review of all previous cases in the field.

Authors are encouraged to describe how the Case Report is rare or unusual as well as its educational and/or scientific merits in the covering letter that will accompany the submission of the manuscript.

Case Report submissions will be assessed by the Editors and will be sent for peer review if considered appropriate for the journal. Authors should seek written and signed consent to publish the information from the patients or their guardians prior to submission. The submitted manuscript must include a statement to this effect. The editorial board may request copies of the informed consent documentation upon submission of the manuscript.

  • Commentary: short, focused and opinionated articles on any subject within the scope of the journal. These articles are usually related to a contemporary issue, such as recent research findings, and are often written by opinion
  • Research: reports of data from original
  • Review: comprehensive, authoritative, descriptions of any subject within the scope of the journal. These articles are also written by opinion leaders that have been invited by the Editorial
Publication Policies

Authorship, Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study.

All submissions to New Jersey Pediatrics must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.

Please download, complete, and submit the following document:

Informed Consent

Regarding the use of patient images or case details, please note that studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper submitted to New Jersey Pediatrics. Please review established requirements for informed consent on the Elsevier website, accessible here:

Hazards or Human or Animal Subjects

The following guidelines are excerpted from Elsevier’s Ethical Guidelines for Journal Publication:

 If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript.

If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) have approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects.  The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

For human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans [1].  All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines [2] and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and associated guidelines [3], or  EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes [4], or the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act [5].

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier on request [6].


  1. World Medical Association (WMA) Helsinki Declaration for Medical Research in Human Subject 
  2. Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) Guidelines 
  3. The U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 
  4. EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments 
  5. U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 
  6. Elsevier policy on patient consent
Writing titles and abstracts

The title and abstract are the most visible parts of your article.

During peer review, the title and abstract are used when we invite reviewers. Invited reviewers are asked to decide whether they wish to review the manuscript on the basis of the title and abstract alone.

If and when the manuscript is published, more people will read the title and abstract than the whole article. In fact, many people will only read the title and abstract, and may only try to read them once. It is thus important to catch the reader's attention by making the title and abstract as concise, accurate and readable as possible.

Most people rely on electronic search engines to find articles. Usually they search through databases that contain only the title, author list and abstract of articles, excluding any keywords attached to the article by its authors. This is the case, for example, for the National Library of Medicine's databases, including Medline and PubMed. It is therefore important to include in the title and/or abstract the words that potential readers of the article are likely to use during a search.

If you want to make sure that your article is found as a "Related Article" in PubMed searches, please bear in mind that the algorithm used for this functionality gives more weight to less common terms, words used more frequently within a document, and terms in the title.

Titles: The key to drawing attention

The title is an essential way to bring the article to potential readers' attention, especially in those cases where the database being searched does not include the abstract of the article. The title must therefore be as accurate, informative and complete as possible.

Tips for creating titles

  • Be as descriptive as possible and use specific rather than general terms: for instance, include the specific drug name rather than just the class of drug.
  • Use simple word order and common word combinations: e.g. "juvenile delinquency" is more commonly used than "delinquency amongst juveniles".
  • Avoid using abbreviations; they could have different meanings in different fields.
  • Avoid using acronyms and initialisms: e.g. "Ca" for calcium could be mistaken for "CA", which means cancer.
  • Write scientific names in full, e.g. Escherichia coli rather than E. coli.
  • Refer to chemicals by their common or generic name instead of their formulas.
  • Avoid the use of Roman numerals in the title as they can be interpreted differently: for instance, part III could be mistaken for factor III.

Abstracts: Highlighting the most important information

The abstract must outline the most important aspects of the study while providing only a limited amount of detail on its background, methodology and results. Authors need to critically assess the different aspects of the manuscript and choose those that are sufficiently important to deserve inclusion in the abstract.

Once the abstract is ready it can be helpful to ask a colleague who is not involved in the research to go through it to ensure that the descriptions are clear. After the manuscript is written, the authors should go back to the abstract to check that it agrees with the contents of the final manuscript.

Abstract structure

Abstracts should have a structured format. This serves several purposes: it helps authors summarize the different aspects of their work; it makes the abstract more immediately clear; and it helps peer reviewers and readers assess the contents of the manuscript.

The abstract structure varies between journals and between types of article. Authors should check that the abstract of their manuscript is consistent with the requirements of the article type and journal to which the manuscript will be submitted. Please note that the abstract requirements differ between the biology and medical journals in the BMC series published by BioMed Central, for example.

The abstracts of manuscripts submitted to the biology journals in the BMC series should be structured as follows:

  • Background: This should place the study into the context of the current knowledge in its field and list the purpose of the work; in other words, the authors should summarize why they carried out their research.
  • Results: This section should describe the main findings of the study.
  • Conclusions: A brief summary of the content of the manuscript and the potential implications of its results.

The abstracts of manuscripts submitted to the medical journals in the BMC series should be structured as follows: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. The Background, Results, and Conclusions are as for the biology journals, above. In addition, the Methods section should summarize how the study was performed and mention the different techniques employed. It should also include details of any statistical tests employed.

For further details on the requirements of any particular journal published by BioMed Central, please check the relevant 'Instructions for Authors' page.

Tips on writing abstracts

  • Check the abstract length: Abstracts should not exceed 350 words. Abstracts that are too long lose their function as summaries of the full article, and excess words may be omitted by some indexing services.
  • Include synonyms for words and concepts that are in the title: e.g. if referring to 'stillbirths' in the title mention 'perinatal deaths' in the abstract (if appropriate).
  • As in the title, use simple word order and common word combinations.
  • Make sure the salient points of the manuscript are included, but be consistent; the abstract should only reflect those points covered in the manuscript.
  • Minimize the use of abbreviations.
  • Avoid citing references.

Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.

Authors should consider the following guidelines when preparing their manuscript:

  • Any statement in the manuscript that relies on external sources of information (i.e. not the authors own new ideas or findings or general knowledge) should use a citation.
  • Authors should avoid citing derivations of original work. For example, they should cite the original work rather than a review article that cites an original work.
  • Authors should ensure that their citations are accurate (i.e. they should ensure the citation supports the statement made in their manuscript and should not misrepresent another work by citing it if it does not support the point the authors wish to make).
  • Authors should not cite sources that they have not read.
  • Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their friends’, peers’ or institution’s publications.
  • Authors should avoid citing work solely from one country.
  • Authors should not use an excessive number of citations to support one point.
  • Ideally, authors should cite sources that have undergone peer review where possible.
  • Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.
Guide for New Jersey Pediatrics Reviewers

Guide for New Jersey Pediatrics Reviewers

This guide for reviewers contains information about basic considerations that should be applied when reviewing a manuscript that has been submitted to New Jersey Pediatrics, and about the editorial standards of the journal. Other relevant information about the journal’s aims and scope and editorial policies can be found at

Submitted manuscripts are usually reviewed by two or more experts. Peer reviewers will be asked to recommend whether a manuscript should be accepted, revised or rejected. They should also alert the editors of any issues relating to author misconduct such as plagiarism and unethical behavior.

New Jersey Pediatrics operates using a closed peer review system.

Publication of research articles by New Jersey Pediatric is dependent primarily on their validity and coherence, as judged by peer reviewers and editors. The reviewers may also be asked whether the writing is comprehensible and how interesting they consider the article to be. Submitted manuscripts will be sent to peer reviewers, unless they are out of scope or below the interest threshold of New Jersey Pediatric, or if the presentation or written English is of an unacceptably low standard.

Points to consider

Reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments that will help the editors make a decision on publication and the author(s) improve their manuscript. A key issue is whether the work has serious flaws that should preclude its publication, or whether there are additional experiments or data required to support the conclusions drawn. Where possible, reviewers should provide references to substantiate their comments.

Reviewers should address the points below and indicate whether they consider any required revisions to be 'major compulsory revisions', 'minor essential revisions' or 'discretionary revisions'. In general, revisions are likely to be 'Major compulsory revisions' if additional controls are required to support the claims or the interpretations are not supported by the data, if further analysis is required that may change the conclusions, or if the methods used are inadequate or statistical errors have been made.

  1. Is the question posed original, important and well defined?
    The research question posed by the authors should be easily identifiable and understood.
    It is useful to both the editors and authors if reviewers comment on the originality and importance of the study within the context of its field. If the research question is unoriginal because related work has been published previously, please give references.
    Reviewers should ask themselves after reading the manuscript if they have learnt something new and if there is a clear conclusion from the study.
  2. Are the data sound and well controlled?
    If you feel that inappropriate controls have been used please say so, indicating the reasons for your concerns, and suggesting alternative controls where appropriate. If you feel that further experimental/clinical evidence is required to substantiate the results, please provide details.
  3. Is the interpretation (discussion and conclusion) well balanced and supported by the data?
    The interpretation should discuss the relevance of all the results in an unbiased manner. Are the interpretations overly positive or negative?
    Conclusions drawn from the study should be valid and result directly from the data shown, with reference to other relevant work as applicable. Have the authors provided references wherever necessary?
  4. Are the methods appropriate and well described, and are sufficient details provided to allow others to evaluate and/or replicate the work?
    Please remark on the suitability of the methods for the study, which should be clearly described and reproducible by peers in the field.
    If statistical analyses have been carried out, specify whether or not they need to be assessed specifically by an additional reviewer with statistical expertise.
  5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods?
    Please comment on any improvements that could be made to the study design to enhance the quality of the results. If any additional experiments are required, please give details.
    If novel experimental techniques were used please pay special attention to their reliability and validity.
  6. Can the writing, organization, tables and figures be improved?
    Although the editorial team may also assess the quality of the written English, please do comment if you consider the standard is below that expected for a scientific publication.
    If the manuscript is organized in such a manner that it is illogical or not easily accessible to the reader please suggest improvements.
    Please provide feedback on whether the data are presented in the most appropriate manner; for example, is a table being used where a graph would give increased clarity? Do the figures appear to be genuine, i.e. without evidence of manipulation, and of a high enough quality to be published in their present form?
  7. When revisions are requested.
    Reviewers may recommend revisions for any or all of the following reasons: data need to be added to support the authors' conclusions; better justification is needed for the arguments based on existing data; or the clarity and/or coherence of the paper needs to be improved.
  8. Are there any ethical or competing interests issues you would like to raise?
    The study should adhere to ethical standards of scientific/medical research and the authors should declare that they have received ethics approval and or patient consent for the study, where appropriate.
    Whilst we do not expect reviewers to delve into authors' competing interests, if you are aware of any issues that you do not think have been adequately addressed, please inform the editorial office.
  9. Reviewers are reminded of the importance of timely reviews.
    If reviewers encounter or foresee any problems meeting the deadline for a report, they should contact Staff Editor, Michael Weinstein at or Assistant Editor Marcela Betzer at
  10. Confidentiality
    Any manuscript sent for peer review is a confidential document and should remain so until it is formally published.


Advertising policies

All products and services advertised must be directly related to the practice and advancement of pediatrics and the education of New Jersey Pediatrics readers. NJAAP’s Editorial Board has the right to withhold approval of advertiser’s products and services that in its judgment do not further the educational, scientific, or practice needs of its members and readers. Placement of ads, with the exception of back cover placement, will be at random. All advertisements are clearly identified at the bottom as being a Paid Advertisement. Payment is due upon receipt of invoice and all payments are non-refundable. Applications from advertisers who have balances due to NJAAP will not be processed without full payment of delinquent accounts. Cancellations are non-refundable and must be made in writing.