Nurse editors' views on the peer review process

Authors

  • Margaret H. Kearney,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Ave., Box SON, Rochester, New York
    • School of Nursing, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Ave., Box SON, Rochester, New York
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    • Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health; Associate Editor, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing.

  • Margaret Comerford Freda

    1. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
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    • Independence Foundation Professor and Director, PhD and MS/PhD Programs; Professor and Editor, MCN The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing.


Abstract

A growing body of research challenges the inter-rater reliability of peer reviewers and the value of reviewer training or blinding in improving the quality of manuscript reviews, but double-blinded peer review of papers remains a relatively unexamined standard for nursing journals. Using data from a larger emailed survey, the views of 88 nurse editors on peer review were analyzed using content analysis. The majority of nurse editors reported that blinding was important in peer review, to maintain objectivity and avoid negative personal or professional consequences. The minority who saw potential benefits of open review valued increased transparency in the reviewing and editorial decision-making process. An excellent review was viewed as containing specific instructions on how the deficits in a manuscript might be remedied. Common weaknesses of reviews were lack of specificity and inappropriate focus. Virtually all editors provided some form of preparation or guidance to reviewers. Peer review has an impact on nurses' workload and careers, and training in writing and critique should be included in nursing education. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28:444–452, 2005

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