PEER REVIEW AND WHY IT IS ESSENTIAL
As this issue of Advances in Nursing Science (ANS) goes to press, the fifth annual peer review week is underway—a relatively new global event that celebrates and promotes best practices in peer review that happens in the second week of September. During this week, there are virtual and in-person events focused on 4 main purposes:
- To emphasize the central role peer review plays is scholarly communication
- To showcase the work of editors and reviewers
- To share research and advance best practices
- To highlight the latest innovation and applications
Many of the resources, presentations, and videos produced for this event are retained and accessible for all, providing year-round resources to help people worldwide participate in efforts to improve peer review and learn peer review best practices. One of the resources I encourage ANS readers to explore is the YouTube Peer review week channel—https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbmYfn4oBs5a084aOu-ph-g
Although there have been challenges to the traditions of peer review, and it arguably does not always “work” the way it is intended, the very large global community of scholars that participate in the annual peer review week recognize that it has been well demonstrated to be essential to maintaining quality and validity of scientific scholarly publications. These scholars are committed to efforts to improve transparency, diversity, and quality of peer review processes, and to promote ways to recognize those who contribute their time and expertise in the peer review process.
One critical feature of peer review that assures quality in the process is the fact that peer reviewers are volunteers—they contribute to this process without compensation, assuring that they do not bring a conflict of interest to their reviews based on influence or coercion from the publisher or the editor. The selection of peer reviewers also takes into consideration the possibility of other forms of conflict of interest—close working relationships between reviewers and authors, or known bias that might unduly influence the judgment of the peer reviewer.
ANS has an impressive panel of peer reviewers, all of whom are recognized on the ANS website here—https://journals.lww.com/advancesinnursingscience/Pages/reviewpanel.aspx. This past year we also launched a peer review mentoring program, which provides early career scholars an opportunity to work with a seasoned ANS peer reviewer to learn about the peer review process in general, and to start participating as a peer reviewer with the guidance and encouragement of their mentor. If you are interested in participating in this program, download the program description here—https://advancesinnursingscienceblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/ans-mentoring-plan-updated-2019-01-25.pdf. This is also available from the sidebar of the ANS Journal Blog here—https://ansjournalblog.com/
Reflecting on this process, and the vital role that it plays in assuring the quality of the journal content, I extend my deep appreciation to each of the dedicated individuals who provide this invaluable service for ANS! You are superb, dedicated, and tireless reviewers. Without you, ANS could not be what it is today!
—Peggy L. Chinn, PhD, RN, FAAN