Manuscripts submitted to MR at first undergo a rapid assessment by the editor (initial manuscript evaluation), which is not meant to be a full scientific review but to identify and sort out manuscripts with obvious major deficiencies in view of the principal evaluation criteria below. The access review is to ensure that the manuscript is suitable for peer review in MRD, with all evidence presented adequately.
Principal criteria to be rated good or poor:
- Scientific impact: does the manuscript represent a substantial contribution within the scope of Magnetic Resonance? Is there a clear advance relative to the current state-of-the-art and, if not self-evident, has the advance been demonstrated?
- Scientific quality: is all necessary information provided to reproduce the results, including access to raw and processed data, software and blueprints as far as reasonably feasible (with provision of DOIs to public repositories if possible)?
- Presentation quality: are the scientific results and conclusions presented in a clear, concise and well-structured way (number and quality of figures/tables, appropriate use of English language)? Is related work considered in an appropriate and balanced way, including references?
A ranking of poor in any of the principal criteria is sufficient for rejection at any stage. Manuscripts rated good in all criteria are normally posted on the Magnetic Resonance Discussions (MRD) website, the discussion forum of MR, where they are subject to full peer review and interactive public discussion.
Assessment criteria during the full review
In the full review and interactive discussion, the referees and other interested members of the scientific community are asked to take into account, in addition to the access review criteria above, all of the following aspects:
- Does the paper address relevant scientific questions within the scope of MR?
- Does the paper present novel concepts, ideas, tools, or data? All submitted papers are assumed to report on new observations and/or new theory; there is no need to draw attention to the novelty in title, abstract, or conclusions. In the case of educational articles, the concepts must be of current interest, the insight must be original and the presentation of exceptional clarity.
- Are substantial conclusions reached?
- Are the results sufficient to support the interpretations and conclusions? Is the description of experiments and calculations sufficiently complete and precise to allow their reproduction by fellow scientists with reasonable effort? Detailed technical and graphical explanations and documentation of limited file size can be provided as supporting information. Access to raw data, processed spectra, and other experimental data must be provided by depositing in a publicly accessible repository or archive as far as practically feasible, and the DOI provided in the article. Hardware developments need to be documented by photos or equivalent drawings (blueprints with precise dimensions if possible). New software must be accompanied by user instructions. New software should be open source and access to it provided through a software repository if possible.
- Are numerical data accompanied by error estimates with a description of the methods used to obtain these estimates?
- For papers reporting molecular dynamics simulations, is it clearly stated how the MD simulations support the experimental evidence and vice versa?
- Do the authors give proper credit to related work and clearly indicate their own new/original contribution?
- Does the title clearly reflect the contents of the paper?
- Does the abstract provide a concise and complete summary?
- Is the overall presentation well-structured and clear?
- Is the language fluent and precise?
- Should any parts of the paper (text, formulae, figures, tables) be clarified, reduced, combined, or eliminated?
- Are the number and quality of references appropriate?
- Is the amount and quality of the supporting information and supplementary material appropriate?
Peer-review completion (MR)
At the end of the interactive public discussion, the authors may make their final response and submit a revised manuscript. Based on the referee comments, other relevant comments, and the authors' response in the public discussion, the revised manuscript is re-evaluated and rated by the editor. If rated good in all of the principal criteria and specific aspects listed above, it will normally be accepted for publication in MR. Additional advice from the referees in the evaluation and rating of the revised manuscript will be requested by the editor if the public discussion in MRD is not sufficiently conclusive.