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Peer Review

The primary criteria for judging the acceptability of a manuscript are its quality, novelty, and scientific importance. However, editorial decisions are based not just on the technical merits of the work, but also on factors such as priority for publication, presentation of the material, and relevance to the Journal’s general readership.

At the discretion of the Editors, a manuscript may be rapidly rejected, without external peer review, if it is deemed uncompetitive or outside the scope of the journal. All manuscripts are judged in relation to other submissions currently under consideration.

Manuscripts that have passed initial screening by the Editors are reviewed by members of the Editorial Board and/or other experts in the field. The Editors select reviewers and make the final decision on the manuscript. Reviewers remain unknown to the authors. Every manuscript is treated by the Editors and reviewers as privileged information, and they are instructed to exclude themselves from review of any manuscript that may involve a conflict of interest or the appearance of such.

Rebuttals to rejected manuscripts are strongly discouraged, and requests for resubmission of rejected manuscripts are generally not granted without significant demonstration of errors in the review or decision process. The majority of articles are rejected on grounds of insufficient priority or lack of relevance to hematology, not data quality or technical issues.

Fast Track review

Manuscripts reporting exceptional findings that merit rapid publication can receive Fast Track peer review. Authors unsure of whether their work merits Fast Track are encouraged to send a presubmission inquiry to bloodeditor@hematology.org. Authors can request Fast Track review in the cover letter of their submission and explain the rationale for expedited review. Fast Track review is granted at the discretion of the editors.

Previously reviewed manuscripts

Blood welcomes the submission of novel, high-impact work that has been previously reviewed by broader-scope journals, but may be better suited to Blood. Including prior reviews in the submission to Blood allows editors to make a more rapid decision. Authors should submit their prior reviews as well as a response to reviewer comments in a supplemental file. Authors must also affirm in the cover letter that the prior reviews are complete and have not been edited in any way. Authors of work reviewed by broad-scope journals are strongly encouraged to first send a presubmission inquiry to bloodeditor@hematology.org.

Instructions for Reviewers

Our expert reviewers are instrumental in maintaining the high quality of Blood and its prominence among medical journals. We greatly appreciate the contribution of your time and expertise.

Please note that all information regarding a submitted paper should be kept confidential.

By accepting an invitation to review you certify that you have no conflict of interest, either financial or professional, and that you understand the ASH-Blood Conflict of Interest policy (http://www.hematology.org/About/Governance/380.aspx). Please recuse yourself from reviewing a manuscript if you feel you have any potential conflict that might be relevant to its review.

What criteria should I use to write my review?

  • Are the methods employed adequate and appropriate for the questions being addressed?
  • Are the conclusions justified given the data presented?
  • Are the content, style, and tone of the manuscript appropriate?
  • Will the manuscript stimulate constructive discussion?
  • Are the results sufficiently important and novel to advance the field? Blood cannot publish articles that are technically adequate but do not advance the field in a significant way.

Any appearance of conflict of interest or suspicion of duplicate publication, fabrication of data, or plagiarism should be reported to the Editor immediately.

Reviewer recommendations

As reviewer you are given four options to choose from:

  • Accept
  • Reject
  • Major Revision needed
  • Minor Revision needed

Major and Minor Revisions

“Major” revisions may require additional data or analysis. These additions should be feasible for the authors to achieve within 3 months. If you feel that extensive additional experiments are needed, it is usually better to recommend that the paper be rejected.

“Minor” revision usually refers to relatively simple changes to the data presentation or text.