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Instructions for Reviewers


Two or more reviewers per manuscript are invited by the editor. Reviewer selection in the Korean Journal of Legal Medicine is based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations, and our previous experience with the reviewer. We avoid inviting reviewers who are chronically slow, sloppy, too harsh or too lenient.


The Korean Journal of Legal Medicine is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication which are valuable services both to our authors and the scientific community. We therefore ask that reviewers respond within 2 weeks (preferably 1 week) or inform us if they anticipate a significant delay. This allows us to keep the authors informed and, when necessary, find alternative reviewers.


Reviewers’ aspects:

Reviewers should treat the review process as being strictly confidential, and should keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • manuscripts reviewed for the Korean Journal of Legal Medicine should not be discussed with anyone not directly involved in the review process.
  • reviewers should not disclose their identities to the authors or to other colleagues.
  • if colleagues are consulted, they should be identified to the editor.

In order to ensure fairness in the review process, we try to avoid reviewers who: have recent or ongoing collaborations with the authors, have commented on drafts of the manuscript, are in direct competition, have a history of dispute with the authors, or have a financial interest in the outcome. Because it is not possible for the editor to know of all possible biases, however, we ask reviewers to draw their attention to anything that might affect their reports, including commercial interests, and to decline to review in cases where they feel unable to be objective.

Authors’ aspects:

The Korean Journal of Legal Medicine observes publication policy and research ethics. The reviewers who are more familiar with the field are more likely to recognize such problems. Reviewers are responsible to alert the editor to any research misconduct regarding authorship, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, multiple publication, conflicts of interest, privacy and confidentiality, and protection of human subjects and animals in research.


General guidelines

The primary purpose of reviewer reports is to provide the editor with the information that they need to reach a decision, but they should also instruct the authors on how to strengthen their manuscripts if revision is a possibility. Please evaluate the papers according to following criteria, and decide the eligibility for publication in the Korean Journal of Legal Medicine.

  • strong evidences for the conclusions that are drawn.
  • novelty (abstracts, meeting reports and www preprints are not considered to compromise novelty).
  • broad biological significance.
  • importance to the specific field.
  • ethical and legal suitability.
  • correct and pertinent references.

Based on the reviewers’ advices, the editor decides to:

  • accept the manuscript for publication, with or without minor revision.
  • invite the authors to revise the manuscript before a final decision is reached.
  • or reject the manuscript, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Reviewers may recommend a particular course of action in their confidential comments to the editor, but should bear in mind that the editor may have to make a decision based on conflicting advices. Furthermore, editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, but rather are based on an evaluation of the strengths of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors. The most useful reviewer reports, therefore, are those that set out clear, substantiated arguments and refrain from recommending a course of action in the comments directed to the authors. Reviewers can request re-review of revised manuscripts as many times as necessary, or leave the confirmation of minor revisions to the editor. Please be prudent in deciding the eligibility for publication, especially of case reports without significant or novel findings.


All of review processes are proceeded through the manuscript management system of the Korean Journal of Legal Medicine. Reviewers are kindly requested to visit the journal site (http://submit.kjlm.or.kr), log in with their ID and passwords, and go to the Reviewer Center. Reviewers are recommended to download pdf files of the assigned manuscripts, and make corrections and notes on the file.

Reviewers are asked to maintain a positive and impartial, but critical, attitude in evaluating manuscripts. Criticisms should remain dispassionate; offensive language is not acceptable. As far as possible, a negative report should explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that they can understand the basis for a decision to ask for revision or to reject the manuscript. Reviewers may submit confidential comments to the editor in addition to those that can be directly transmitted to the authors. Reviewers’ opinions can be directly typed in, or attached as separate files.

The ideal report should include:

  • an initial paragraph that summarizes the major findings and the reviewer's overall impressions, as well as highlighting major shortcomings of the manuscript.
  • specific numbered comments, which may be broken down into major and minor criticisms if appropriate (numbering facilitates both the editor's evaluation of the manuscript and the authors' rebuttal to the report).

The report should answer the following questions:

  • what are the major claims and how significant are they?
  • are the claims novel and convincing?
  • are the claims appropriately discussed in the context of earlier literature?
  • who will be interested and why?
  • does the paper stand out in some way from the others in its field?
  • are there other experiments that would strengthen the paper?

Reviewer reports should not include a recommendation regarding publication, which is regarded as confidential information since the final decision regarding acceptance, revision or rejection rests with the editor.

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Editorial Office
Institute of Forensic Medicine and Department of Forensic Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine
103 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea
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