CEE Peer Review Policy

Unless otherwise stated, the CEE policy on peer review applies to publication in the open-access journal Environmental Evidence and archiving in the CEE Library.

Objectivity, reliability, transparency and repeatability of systematic reviews are at the heart of the operational and quality assurance processes of the CEE. Consequently we are committed to high standards of scientific rigour in the systematic review process. To this end CEE operate an independent peer review process that is at least the equal of other high-quality scientific journals. For details go to the journal website www.environmentalevidencejournal.org/about#publication.

Peer review ensures compliance with CEE guidelines and standards but is intended to be collaborative and supportive. Hence CEE involvement begins at the initiation of the review process with the registration of a review protocol. It is not desirable that significant numbers of completed reviews are rejected (unlike the situation with many papers submitted to peer-review journals) and thus we seek to give guidance and feedback at this key stage in the review process, decreasing the probability of final rejection by identifying problems early on. Authors considering undertaking a systematic review are encouraged to read the CEE Guidelines at an early stage. Guidelines for undertaking a systematic review can be accessed using the following link: Information For Authors

The Peer Review of Systematic review/map protocols

A key step in the process of undertaking a systematic review or map is the production of its protocol. This sets out the details and scope of the review and how it will be conducted. It is important that protocols are not created in isolation and that a consensus is built concerning the appropriateness of the review question, the type and quality of data sought and the scope of the search. Draft protocols submitted to Environmental Evidence are first examined by the editorial team for compliance with the Guidelines and Instructions for Authors. If no preliminary amendment is required, the manuscript is sent out to at least two independent anonymous reviewers for comment.

Comments are passed back to the authors and only when appropriate revisions are made will the protocol be published in Environmental Evidence.

The Peer Review of Systematic maps and Systematic reviews

Draft reviews (or maps) submitted to Environmental Evidence are sent out to independent anonymous reviewers (these may or may not be the same individuals who reviewed the protocol). Comments are passed back to the authors and only when appropriate revisions are made will the systematic review be published in Environmental Evidence. In cases where major revisions are required several rounds of peer review may be needed. Final decisions on publishing protocols and systematic reviews rest with the Editorial team.


Peer-reviewers remain anonymous unless they ask otherwise.