Journals Library

Editorial policies

Editorial policies


The NIHR Journals Library has a commitment to transparency. Within the limitations of our closed review process we try to ensure that reviewers, editors, authors and readers know as much about the background of the research as possible.

Duty of confidentiality to authors

All submitted final reports are treated as confidential documents. This means that, unless we have the authors’ prior permission, we will not disclose information about a final report. However, during the editorial review process, the following people may have access to your final report:

  • Editorial office staff and other colleagues at NETSCC, NIHR or MRC.
  • External reviewers.
  • NIHR Journals Library editors and other members of the editorial board or groups
  • Department of Health staff or other policy making bodies, on completion of a confidentiality agreement
  • The production house.


The NIHR Journals Library has a system of closed review, where authors do not know who has reviewed or edited their final reports. However, all reviewers are expected to declare any competing interests that might relate to the final report we have asked them to review, and these are taken into account by the editors when considering reviewers’ comments. We would expect reviewers to decline a review request should the conflict of interest be significant.

Editorial board and groups

The editorial board and groups consist of active clinicians and clinical academics (or the equivalent in public health), health policy experts, programme directors and the editor-in-chief of the NIHR Journals Library.

The only occasion when details about a final report might be passed to a third party without the authors’ prior permission is if the editors suspect serious research misconduct (please see Publication Ethics for further information).