To increase transparency, PeerJ operates a system of 'optional signed reviews and history'. This takes two forms: (1) peer reviewers are encouraged, but not required, to provide their names (if they do so, then their profile page records the articles they have reviewed), and (2) authors are given the option of reproducing their entire peer review history alongside their published article (in which case the complete peer review process is provided, including revisions, rebuttal letters and editor decision letters).
Thank you for addressing the concerns raised in my previous comments.
I am pleased to let you know that your manuscript is now accepted for publication in PeerJ. Congratulations!
Philip M Jones, MD, MSc (Clin Trials), FRCPC
After rejection at eLife, the authors elected to submit to PeerJ. I reviewed the eLife Reviewers' comments, the responses to these comments by the authors, and after this review I did not deem it necessary to send out for further peer review. The authors did a fantastic job at responding to the previous Reviewers' comments and criticisms, including some re-analysis of their data.
This paper is an interesting and provocative epidemiological investigation using data recently made available to the public. The authors investigated the putative carcinogenic effect of higher partial pressures of oxygen (lower elevations) on the incidence of lung cancer (as well as other cancers). The authors found a potential link of higher exposure to oxygen being positively correlated to lung cancer incidence. They postulate that people living at higher elevations, due to a lower overall oxygen exposure, may have a lower incidence of lung cancer.
Although any observational study is subject to residual confounding from unmeasured or unknown confounders, the authors have done a very good job with their analysis to assess this potential from multiple angles. The results were all consistent and now they provide a new topic to investigate using individual-level data in the future to strengthen support for what is, at this time, an interesting but uncertain association.
I would like to congratulate the authors on performing this work to such a high standard.
I have made numerous comments in the attached file (to be emailed to you seperately). I would appreciate it if the authors would go through this file and respond to each of the concerns raised. I do not think any of the concerns will be difficult to deal with.
This paper will be published in PeerJ assuming a satisfactory response to the issues raised.
Philip M Jones, MD MSc (Clinical Trials) FRCPC
Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine
Program in Critical Care, Department of Medicine
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of Western Ontario / London Health Sciences Centre
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