WHILE SERVING as associate editor and editor, respectively, of the Archives of Internal Medicine, as well as having served on the editorial boards of several other journals, we have noted an uneven quality of reviews of manuscripts by clinicians and researchers who are called on to provide peer review. Given the variation in the quality of these reviews and the often limited or nonconstructive feedback that some reviewers provide to authors, we have prepared a checklist of points to consider in reviewing the major study designs commonly used in clinical and public health studies, namely observational studies, cross-sectional studies, and randomized controlled trials. We hope that this will help to improve the reviews of manuscripts, provide relevant feedback to authors, and assist those involved in planning, conducting, and reporting the results of these studies. Each of the major study designs used in clinical and epidemiological studies is discussed in the
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