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Are we being true to the peer-review process?

Peer review of manuscripts submitted for publication is an essential process that the nursing community, like other scientific communities, adopts to ensure the quality of publications. Such a process is intended to provide an impartial mechanism through which scholarly work is evaluated by colleagues who may be selected in recognition of their expertise in the content and/or research methods to be reviewed. Authors and end users endorse the peer-review process as a testimonial to the quality of published work. It is extremely important that we preserve the integrity of the peer-review process and practise due diligence every step of the way. To that end, editors, reviewers and authors share a common responsibility toward ensuring that peer reviews are as rigorous and meaningful as possible.

Check to ensure quality of reviewers

Editors are responsible for making sure that reviewers are suitably qualified to review a manuscript or a component of one (for example, content versus research methods and data analysis). Editors are also in charge of assessing and evaluating the quality and appropriateness of reviewers’ comments, especially those of first-time reviewers. For their part, reviewers need to be candid in assessing their own expertise and knowledge before agreeing to perform a review on a manuscript. Reviewers are expected to provide informed opinions, and they should not make comments or request changes based on intuition or guessing. They should also stop short of requesting changes or revisions that may not be supported by evidence.

Likewise, authors have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that they have given their work their best effort before submitting it for review. Authors are therefore encouraged to carefully review their own


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