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Can J Anaesth. 2004 Jun-Jul;51(6):549-56.

Study design, originality and overall consistency influence acceptance or rejection of manuscripts submitted to the Journal.

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Department of Anesthesia and Resuscitation, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To identify the characteristics of the manuscripts submitted to the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia (CJA) associated with their acceptance or rejection and to analyze the reviewers' comments and their impact on the editors' decision to publish.


Peer review material was analyzed from 213 submissions to the CJA. Characteristics of accepted and rejected manuscripts were compared. Reviewers' comments were classified according to editorial criteria used by the journal and the distribution of the different types of comments amongst accepted and rejected submissions was compared.


Characteristics of 213 manuscripts and comments from 405 reviewers were analyzed. Overall, 57% of manuscripts submitted to the CJA were accepted. The type of research (study vs case report, clinical vs laboratory science) had no impact on the fate of the manuscripts; however, frequency of acceptance differed between articles originating from different geographic regions (P < 0.0001) with Canadian submissions posting the highest frequency (86%). Comment analysis suggests that the relationship between the experimental design, the results, and the conclusion was the main determinant of an article's fate. Lack of originality or inappropriate experimental design were likely to be associated with rejection. Conversely, aspects involving the presentation of manuscripts (tables, figures, references) were rarely cited as reasons to justify acceptance or rejection.


Although articles are judged on many criteria, authors need to be aware that some aspects of a manuscript, namely the relationship between experimental design, results, and conclusions, the originality, and the use of an appropriate study design, are the most important features with regard to its acceptance or rejection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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