Journal of Cancer Stem Cell Research

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This guide is designed for reviewers by providing information about the criterion that should be utilized when reviewing a submitted manuscript. Generally, each manuscript will be reviewed by at least two peer reviewers, who will decide whether a manuscript should be accepted, revised or rejected. Reviewers will notify the editors of any issues regarding author misconduct including plagiarism and unethical standards.

Publication of Articles

Journal of Cancer Stem Cell Research utilizes a closed peer review system. Publication of articles by Journal of Cancer Stem Cell Research is determined predominantly by the validity and relevance to stem cell and cancer, as deemed by the peer reviewers and editors. Reviewers may be asked to comment on the writing quality of the paper and the level of interest. Once manuscripts are submitted they will be sent to peer reviewers, unless the focus of the paper is outside the realm of Journal of Cancer Stem Cell Research or if the manuscript formatting or writing is poorly delivered.

Points to Consider

Reviewers are requested to provide comments on the manuscripts to help the editors’ decision and aid the authors in improving their papers. Reviewers should especially highlight any serious flaws in a manuscript that should impede its publication, and provide an outline for any additional experiments or data needed to support the conclusions drawn. To support their comments, reviewers should cite references when possible throughout the manuscript.

Reviewers should consider the points given in "Points tabs" and clearly indicate whether they consider any required revisions to be 'major mandatory revisions', 'minor essential revisions' or "optional revisions'. Revisions are considered to be 'Major mandatory revisions' if additional controls are needed to support the claims or if any discrepancies exist between the conclusions and data. Moreover, papers may be required to conduct major revisions if the inadequate methods or statistical analysis are used the paper.

Please refer to the list for the points to be considered.

Review Point 1

Is the purpose of the investigation original and clearly defined?

  • If the research question is unoriginal because related work has been published, please provide the relevant references.

Is the data realistic and are variables well controlled?

  • If the wrong controls have been set, please reject the manuscript, explaining why. It is also helpful to suggest alternative controls where appropriate.

Are the conclusions supported by the data?

  • The results support the conclusions made in unbiased manner.  Reviewers are to comment if the interpretations highly polarized, either too positive or negative.
  • Reviewers should consider if the authors provided references wherever necessary.

Review Point 2

Are the methods appropriate and well described, and are sufficient details provided to allow others to evaluate and/or replicate the work?

  • Reviewers should decide whether the instructions are sufficient to replicate the experiment.
  • Reviewers should assess if the statistical analysis needed to be reviewed by an additional reviewer with statistical knowledge.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods?

  • Reviewers should include any comments on the design protocol, including any ways the design can be improved or enhanced to achieve the highest quality results. If any additional experiments are required, please provide details.
  • Reviewers should especially analyze the data and its validity if new experimental techniques were used.

Review Point 3

Can the writing of the manuscript be improved, including figures?

  • Reviewers should notify the editors if the paper reflects poor writing quality.
  • Reviewers should also notify the editors if the manuscript is laid out in illogical or overly complex manner.
  • Please provide feedback on whether the data is presented in the most adequate manner.

When are revisions requested?

  • Reviewers can request revisions for the following reasons.
  1. data does not support the authors' conclusions
  2. better justification is required for the arguments
  3. writing quality of the paper needs to be improved

Review Point 4

Are there any ethical or competing interests issues you would like to raise?

  • The paper should maintain high ethical standards with appropriate approvals.
  • If the reviewer becomes aware of any competing interests please inform the editorial office.

Reviewers are reminded of the importance of timely reviews.

  • If reviewers face any problems meeting the deadline for a paper, they should contact Editorial Office.


  • Any manuscript sent for peer review should remain confidential until published.

Are the supplemental materials appropriate?

  • Reviewers should comment on the additional files and their relevance.
  • Reviewers do not to analyze supporting data, but any insight can be greatly helpful.


Pranela Rameshwar, Ph.D.
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Mariusz Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D. ...
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Justin Lathia, Ph.D.
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