The Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics has a fundamental responsibility to attract, select, and publish the most important scientific advances in our field through peer review.
It may seem that the scientific community is obsessed with the issue of peer review, but despite this obsession the National Library of Medicine does not take into account whether a journal is peer reviewed when it decides to index a journal in MEDLINE. Peer review is not a standard process and its value in terms of improving the quality of science has not yet been proved.
I recently read an article in Science Editor in which the author was attempting to outline the rational for peer review. He cited evidence that peer review not only helps editors select the best manuscripts for publication but also improves manuscript quality and readability. Traditional peer review has been described by other scholars as being highly subjective, prone to bias, easily abused, poor in detecting gross defects, and almost useless in detecting fraud.
I would agree with those who claim that, despite its many flaws and variants, peer review remains the best form of quality control that we can offer for the selection of biomedical literature, including that included in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, which has a group of individuals who act as peer reviewers. During my first year as editor, it has been my experience that manuscripts are reviewed in a timely, unbiased, and professional manner, and I extend my thanks to each reviewer.
I hope you enjoy the varied content of the articles that comprise this issue. Please continue to examine the Journal of Prosthetic and Orthotics critically, and let me know if you think we are striking the correct balance. Your opinion is important and I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.