JAVMA Information for Reviewers - Factors to consider when evaluating descriptive reports




  • Is the reason for describing this new technique clear and clinically relevant?
  • Are there sufficient new and important findings to warrant publication?
  • Has any or all of the information in the manuscript been published previously?

Description of the Technique

  • Is the technique described in sufficient detail without being excessively long?


  • Do the data support the conclusions?


  • Is the writing clear, concise, and readable?
  • Should any sections of the manuscript be expanded, condensed, or eliminated?
  • Have authors used abbreviations or jargon to excess?

Specific Manuscript Sections


  • Is the title a clear, accurate representation of the article's content?


  • Is the introduction focused on relevant aspects of the topic and not just a literature review?
  • Is the reason why this new technique was developed or attempted clearly stated?
  • Is the technique relevant only to animals of a certain age or breed and, if so, is this clearly stated?

Description of the Technique

  • Is the technique described in sufficient detail without being excessively long?
  • Are any important variations indicated?


  • Are data presented in a clear and understandable manner?
  • Do authors account for all animals?
  • Are the results credible?
  • Are calculations correct (please scan and spot check)?
  • Do tables, text, and figures agree with and complement each other?
  • Are all tables and figures necessary or is there repetition of material?
  • Is the figure quality adequate?


  • Are any results mentioned for the first time in the discussion?
  • Do the authors interpret the data rather than simply restating the results?
  • Are strengths and weaknesses of the technique acknowledged?
  • Are any ideas or conclusions over- or underemphasized?
  • Do the authors provide a balanced view of the importance of the results?
  • Do the authors cite relevant work of others?
  • Are all conclusions supported by the results?
  • Are any key issues not addressed?
  • Is all of the discussion relevant?
  • Do the authors make any recommendations not supported by their data or beyond the scope of the report?


  • Are citations and quotations correct (please scan and spot check)?
  • Are all references pertinent or are some inconsequential?
  • Have any important references been omitted (please provide citations)?

Factors to consider when reviewing manuscripts

  1. Original Study
  2. Retrospective Study
  3. Clinical Report
  4. Descriptive Report
  5. What Is Your Diagnosis?

Version: April 9, 2003