Future Healthcare Journal information for reviewers

What is peer review?

Peer review is the thorough examination of articles submitted for publication by experts in the relevant field of research. Peer review helps to ensure that the article is of a high quality, contributes to the field of research and is accurately presented.

Peer review has an important function, as it ensures that only high-quality research is published and available as a body of scientific evidence. It also helps to prevent research misconduct, as submitted work is scrutinised.

The role of a reviewer

The peer reviewer is responsible for critically reading and evaluating a manuscript in their area of expertise, and then providing respectful, constructive and honest feedback to authors about their submission. It is appropriate for the peer reviewer to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the article, suggest ways to improve the strength and quality of the work, and evaluate the relevance and originality of the manuscript.

Double-blind reviewing process

Our peer review process is double blind (authors and reviewers are not aware of each other’s identities). During the online submission process, authors are requested to supply a cover sheet containing author details and acknowledgements separately from the main article file. To ensure the peer review process is double blind, the cover sheet is not sent to the peer reviewers.

Sign up here as a reviewer for the RCP journals

Reviewer guidelines

Before reviewing, please consider the following:

Does the article that you are being asked to review match your expertise?

If you receive a manuscript about a topic that does not sufficiently match your area of expertise, please notify the editor as soon as possible. Please recommend alternative reviewer(s) where you can.

Do you have time to review the paper?

Reviews of an article should be completed within 2 weeks. If you do not think you can complete the review within this time frame, please let the editor know and, if possible, suggest an alternative reviewer. If you have agreed to review a paper but will no longer be able to finish the work before the deadline, please contact the editor who invited you as soon as possible.

Are there any potential conflicts of interest?

While conflicts of interest will not disqualify you from reviewing the manuscript, it is important to disclose all conflicts of interest to the editors before reviewing. If you have any questions about potential conflicts of interest, please do not hesitate to contact the editorial office (FHJ@rcplondon.ac.uk).


When reviewing the article, please consider the following:

Content quality and originality

Is the article sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication? Does it add to the canon of knowledge? Is the research question important? Does the article adhere to the journal's standards?

Organisation and clarity

Title: Does it clearly describe the article?

Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article?

Introduction: Does it accurately describe what the author(s) hoped to achieve, and clearly state the problem being investigated? The introduction should summarise relevant research to provide context and explain what findings, if any, are being challenged or extended. It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.

Method: Does the author accurately explain how the data were collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information for the research to be replicated? Does the article identify the procedures followed? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded; have the author(s) been precise in describing measurements?

Results: Have the author(s) explained what they discovered in the research? This section should be clearly laid out and in a logical sequence. Has the appropriate analysis has been conducted? Are the statistics correct? If you are not comfortable with statistics, please advise the editor when you submit your report. Interpretation of results should not be included in this section, but in the conclusion/discussion.

Conclusion/Discussion: Are the claims in this section supported by the results, do they seem reasonable? Have the author(s) indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved the body of medical knowledge forward? Have the author(s) clearly stated the relevance and practical applicability of the study and its implications to the real world?

Tables, Figures, Images: Are they appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand?

References: Are the in-text citations clearly defined and easy to follow? Is the reference list relevant, complete and well formatted?

Scope: Is the article in line with the scope of the journal?

Ethical issues

If you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work, that the results are untrue or you have other ethical concerns, eg confidentiality, please let the editor know.


Online peer review system

The peer review process for Future Healthcare Journal is managed via our online submission system. As a reviewer, you will be notified by email of an invitation to review a manuscript. The email will contain hyperlink invitation responses. Selecting the appropriate hyperlink sends the response to the journal and updates the system with your response. If you select the Agreed hyperlink, you will be sent an additional email that contains a link to your Reviewer Centre. Click the link in this email to begin your review.

If you log into your Reviewer Centre instead of replying to an email, you will see a notice that you have a new invitation. Select View Invitation to choose the appropriate response from the Action column. If you choose Agreed & Begin Review, you will be taken directly to the submission and score sheet. If you choose Decline, you will be asked to suggest alternative reviewers.

In your Reviewer Centre, you will see a list of the articles you have been asked to review for the journal. For each article, when you select Continue Review, you will be taken to both the PDF on the left side of the screen and the score sheet on the right. This type of navigation will allow you to scroll through the PDF and have the score sheet next to the area of the article you are reviewing. If you wish to save your partially completed review, please click Save; when you have completed your review and are ready to send it to the editor, please click Submit.

We strongly encourage you to elaborate on your review in the space provided. Your recommendation regarding an article will be strongly considered when the editor makes the final decision, and your specific, thorough, honest comments will offer valuable feedback to the author(s). Please remember to frame your criticism positively and with action points so that the author(s) can improve their manuscript.


The RCP is proud to have partnered with Publons to give peer reviewers official recognition of their contribution. When submitting your review, you will be asked if you want to receive recognition for your work on Publons. If you opt in, your review will be added to your Publons profile and you can track, verify and showcase your peer review work.


If you have any questions about the peer review process, please contact the editorial office (FHJ@rcplondon.ac.uk).