http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-reviewers/guidance-patient-reviewers Guidance for BMJ patient reviewers Patient peer review at The BMJ If you're a patient living with disease, a carer of a patient, a patient advocate acting on behalf of a patient group, or you play a leading part in advocating for patient participation and partnership in healthcare we'd like to invite you to take part in a unique initiative. The BMJ has committed to improving the relevance and patient centredness of its research, education, analysis, and editorial articles by asking patients to comment on them. We need your help to make these changes. If you already review for The BMJ as a researcher or clinician, but you are also interested in reviewing as a patient, carer, or patient advocate, you can do this too. Patient review is a new initiative for The BMJ. We are taking the lead here, and we hope other publishers will follow. We apologise in advance if our systems seem impersonal or are not yet ideally tailored for patient reviewers. If you have suggestions for how we could do this better, please do let us know. The peer review process When medical researchers or clinicians complete their study they write a paper presenting their methods, findings, and conclusions and send it to a scientific journal (like The BMJ) to be considered for publication. If the journal's editors think that a paper might be suitable for publication they send the paper out to other scientists and specialist experts who research, practise, and publish in the same area, asking them to comment on whether the research is done well and if it provides an important contribution to scientific knowledge. For more information about what we ask them to do, see our guidance for traditional peer reviewers. The scientists assessing the papers are called reviewers, and the whole process is called peer review. The aim of peer review is to reject poor quality articles and unoriginal studies, promote good ones, and offer feedback and constructive criticism to researchers, so they can improve the clarity and impact of their paper. Through The BMJ's commitment to improving the relevance and patient centredness of its research, we now invite patients and carers to review articles alongside other peer reviewers.