Background: In the Internet-able era, reviewers are faced with an increased number of manuscripts and decreased time to review. In order to maintain the same, if not higher level of quality in the peer-review process, a net gain in productivity is required. Our goal is to present a manuscript peer-review checklist to help reviewers achieve this secondary yet critical task in a more systematic fashion.
Methods: To this end, we have compiled, structured and processed information from six reference standards and guidelines as well as directives from 21 peer-reviewed journals and conferences, resulting in a 71 criteria checklist. We ensured that criteria were assessable based on the verification, validation and evaluation paradigm.
Results: The checklist is presented in the manuscript, along with a description of a review workflow.
Findings: It is hoped that the checklist will be widely disseminated, and we are looking for feedback on validation and improvements in order to perform a quantitative study on productivity gains using this tool.