Help for Reviewers


All papers published by Health Affairs are subjected to the scrutiny of outside reviewers. A typical paper is reviewed by two reviewers, but it is not unusual for a paper to be reviewed by more reviewers if the complexity of the topic warrants such treatment. The peer-review process is critical to the success of the journal and plays an important role in ensuring that the journal's contents remain fresh, accurate, and relevant.

As a reviewer, you will receive a letter that will provide information on how to access the manuscript that you are reviewing, the date on which your review is due, and other important details. The letter may ask you specific questions that pertain to the manuscript. General questions that you should consider addressing in your comments include the following:

  • Would you support publication of this paper in Health Affairs?

  • Would this paper add anything significantly new or interesting to the present health policy debates?

    Specifically, what would the paper contribute?

  • Do the authors raise the right issues and maximize the value of the presentation for a policy-oriented audience?

  • How would you rate the paper in terms of timeliness, balance, accuracy, and sophistication?

  • Do you see any major gaps or flaws that would detract from the overall usefulness or reliability of the presentation?

  • We also welcome any general observations or appropriate comments that you might wish to share with us, as well as your suggestions for strengthening the paper.

    We request that reviewers fill out a rating form for the papers they are reviewing and also provide written comments for authors and editors. To access the paper and review forms, and to submit a review, reviewers must log in to our online review system. For additional information on how to submit a review, return to our "Help for Reviewers" main page, and select "How to submit a review."

    In accordance with our policy, we will notify you once we have reached a decision on the manuscript that you reviewed and share copies of written comments for authors received by other reviewers, and we will share your comments for authors with other reviewers as well. We will not reveal your identity to authors or other reviewers.

    Thank you for your cooperation and for your help.

    If you have any questions about the review process, please contact Health Affairs’ executive editor, Don Metz, at or 301-347-3907.