Peer Review Process, Appeals, and Transfers

On this page: Peer Review Policy | Potential Conflicts of Interest Reviewers | CME & CE | Anonymity | Selection of Peer Reviewers | Appeals to Editorial Decisions | Transfers | Holding Accepted Articles from Publication | Useful Tutorials 

Peer Review Policy

All contributions that are selected for peer review are sent to independent reviewers. The identity of reviewers is confidential and manuscripts are considered private information. Papers may be rejected without external review at the Editor’s discretion. Authors must suggest or recommend for exclusion reviewers at the time of submissions. Back to top of page

Potential Conflicts of Interest Reviewers

When asked to review for Genetics in Medicine reviewers should assess their own personal conflicts of interest with the manuscript and authors.

Potential conflicts include:

  • financial or professional relationships with entities, both for-profit and non-profit.
  • sharing employer with the author(s) [this is not necessarily a conflict, please contact the editorial office for guidance]
  • submissions from individuals with whom the reviewer has closely collaborated in the last 3 years
  • submissions from entities or individuals with which the reviewer:
    • is financially or professionally involved
    • has a close personal relationship
    • has a professionally competitive or adverse personal or professional relationship.

Clinicians and scientists in our field are often involved in big science or team science, so that they often collaborate with dozens or more co-authors on manuscripts. In addition, some reviewers are prolific authors, publishing dozens of manuscripts annually. Therefore, simple co-authorship is not by itself always grounds for recusal; collaboration defined as a close working relationship in the past three years is grounds for recusal. Any questions about this policy and when to recuse oneself as a reviewer should be referred to the editorial office.

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Reviewer Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education (CE)

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Please refer to Genetics in Medicine’s guidelines and policies on eligibility to receive CME/CE credit for peer review of a manuscript under consideration with the journal.


Reviewers’ identities are not released to authors, except when reviewers specifically ask to be identified. If reviewers wish to reveal their identities while the manuscript is under consideration, this should be done through the Editor. Should a reviewer contact an author directly, we ask authors to inform the Editor as soon as possible. We prohibit any attempt by authors to confront reviewers or determine their identities. Our own policy is to neither confirm nor deny any speculation about reviewers’ identities, and we encourage reviewers to adopt a similar policy. In accordance with ICMJE guidelines, reviewer comments should not be published or otherwise publicized without permission of the reviewer, author and editor. Back to top of page

Selection of Peer Reviewers

Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choices on many factors, including expertise, reputation, and specific recommendations. All manuscripts will be assessed by the Editor-in-Chief, and, if appropriate will be sent to a section editor and two or more external reviewers. Manuscripts that are not reviewed will be returned to the authors. Authors MUST provide a list of potential reviewers who are especially qualified to referee the work and would not have a conflict of interest.  Please include the reviewers’ names, e-mail addresses, institutional affiliations, and academic degrees on the online submission form. The editors are, however, not obligated to use those reviewers. Manuscripts will be reviewed for content, originality, importance to the field, appropriateness of statistical analysis, and derivation of conclusions. Authors should note that manuscripts may be returned after initial review by the editorial office if the paper is deemed unlikely to be reviewed favorably by virtue of insufficient or general interest for GIM’s readership. This rapid rejection process enables the author to promptly submit for publication elsewhere. If sent for review, the outcome may be acceptance with or without revisions, non-acceptance with an opportunity to make revisions for resubmission, or rejection. Manuscripts being revised by the authors will be held by the editorial office for a maximum of 180 days, after which a new submission is required.  Please contact the editorial office if you are not able to make this deadline. Back to top of page

Appeals to Editorial Decisions

We understand that it’s disappointing having a manuscript rejected for publication in Genetics in Medicine (GIM). Some authors may wish to appeal the reject decision. While we will consider such appeals, GIM will only respond to those appeals where authors can provide strong evidence or new data that can alleviate the concerns of the reviewers and editors. We also reserve the right to rescind the offer to consider appeals at any time. Please read Springer’s guide to appeals for further useful information on when appeals may be warranted. Please note that appeals are neither encouraged or likely to be successful.

Appeals should be sent only to the GIM editorial offices at in the form of an email addressed to the Editor-in-Chief and must be sent by the Corresponding Author. The correspondence should reference the details of the manuscript in question (i.e. the GIM manuscript number, title, first author name and corresponding author). In addition, the specific reason(s) for the appeal (e.g. concern that reviewers misunderstood key aspects of the manuscript) must be clearly stated. We reserve the right not to answer appeals that we consider frivolous or disrespectful. Please allow one week for a response. Back to top of page


Genetics in Medicine (GIM) participates in the Springer Nature Transfer Desk via a link in the decision letter. This link leads to an optional manuscript transfer service, which provides authors with a way to resubmit to a different journal in the Springer Nature portfolio, following a rejection notification from GIM. Note: Manuscripts are not transferred to another journal without authors’ express approval.

See here for more information on how this works. In short, Transfer Desk subject matter experts analyze the manuscript with the help of journal-matching technology, taking into account submission preferences, to find potential Springer Nature journals for the next submission. The Transfer Desk then sends the author journal recommendations, and the author can choose to take action on that recommendation. If they choose to move forwards, the Transfer Desk transfers the manuscript to the authors’ preferred journal seamlessly and quickly. Note that a transfer does not guarantee publication, and Transfer Desk recommendations are not based on consultation with the suggested journals. All journals are editorially independent and will assess manuscripts against their own criteria. Back to top of page

Holding Accepted Articles from Publication

Articles that are accepted for publication are published as soon as possible. We will hold an article for up to seven day to allow coordination of press-related activities. Please contact the editorial office to discuss holding publication. Back to top of page

Useful Tutorials

GIM and Springer Nature are pleased to share detailed online Author and Reviewer tutorials – including interactive quizzes – which cover the following topics:

  • Writing a journal manuscript
  • Submitting a journal manuscript and peer review
  • Writing in English
  • How to peer review
  • Open Access

Springer Nature has a set of resources available for peer reviewers including how to gain recognition for peer review. This also includes a link to Publons Academy, an excellent training resource for new peer reviewers. 

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Last Updated: May 2020