Overall assessment of the paper
The background introduces a specific question and spells out objectives on the basis of a description of general and specific issues.
The methods section provides sufficient information on design, sampling, definitions, data collection, laboratory methods and data analysis.
The results section reports sound scientific data that meet the objectives. There are enough details and adequate statistical information.
The discussion section interprets the results to build a case on the basis of the data presented and the literature.
The limitations are described and analysed so that their impact on the capacity to conclude are well understood.
The paper suggests next steps in terms of intervention and gathering additional evidence on the basis of the evidence presented.
The design is adequate to meet the objectives.
The population is well defined and relevant to the objectives.
Definitions are specified, sound and based upon standardized criteria when available.
Sampling methods are statistically sound and adapted.
The sample size was estimated beforehand appropriately and is adequate.
The design is exempt from bias.
The data that were collected are well described and relevant.
The data was collected with methods ensuring sufficient quality.
The analysis is thought beforehand and appropriate.
The indicators generated are appropriate and well calculated.
The statistical tests are appropriate and well computed.
Appropriate attention has been given to human subject protection.
The content is well distributed in the relevant chapters and sections.
The language is simple and clear. The word count is < 3000.
The writing is sequential, going from one point to the next.
The active voice is used throughout.
The vocabulary is precise, consistent and standardized.
Tables and figures
There are no more than five relevant and useful tables and or figures.
The choice of graph or table to display information is judicious.
The tables are clear, exact and the totals add up.
The graphs are effective, appropriate, understandable and they have a low ink-to-data ratio.