Peer review of clinical and translational research manuscripts: Perspectives from statistical collaborators

Phillip J. Schulte, Judith D. Goldberg, Robert A. Oster, Walter T. Ambrosius, Lauren Balmert Bonner, Howard Cabral, Rickey E. Carter, Ye Chen, Manisha Desai, Dongmei Li, Christopher J. Lindsell, Gina Maria Pomann, Emily Slade, Tor D. Tosteson, Fang Yu, Heidi Spratt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Research articles in the clinical and translational science literature commonly use quantitative data to inform evaluation of interventions, learn about the etiology of disease, or develop methods for diagnostic testing or risk prediction of future events. The peer review process must evaluate the methodology used therein, including use of quantitative statistical methods. In this manuscript, we provide guidance for peer reviewers tasked with assessing quantitative methodology, intended to complement guidelines and recommendations that exist for manuscript authors. We describe components of clinical and translational science research manuscripts that require assessment including study design and hypothesis evaluation, sampling and data acquisition, interventions (for studies that include an intervention), measurement of data, statistical analysis methods, presentation of the study results, and interpretation of the study results. For each component, we describe what reviewers should look for and assess; how reviewers should provide helpful comments for fixable errors or omissions; and how reviewers should communicate uncorrectable and irreparable errors. We then discuss the critical concepts of transparency and acceptance/revision guidelines when communicating with responsible journal editors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Association for Clinical and Translational Science.


  • Biostatistics
  • clinical and translational science
  • peer review
  • reviewer guidance
  • study design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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