Author(s): Larson BP, Chung KC
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The usefulness of peer review has been expressed as a method to improve the quality of published work. However, there has been a lack of systematic reviews to date to highlight the essential themes of the peer-review process. METHODS: We performed a search of the English language literature published prior to October 2011 using PubMed to identify articles regarding peer review. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed a priori. Data were extracted and then analyzed for the prevalence of peer-review themes contained within the literature. RESULTS: Of the 941 articles found during our original literature search, 37 were selected for review. The majority were commentary/editorial articles. The themes in our search included the structure and process of the peer-review system, the criteria for papers, ethics, and the different forms of the peer-review process. CONCLUSIONS: The criteria for submission will vary, but our systematic review provides a comprehensive overview of what reviewers expect from authors. Our systematic review also highlighted ethical considerations for both authors and reviewers during the peer-review process. Although the topic of peer review is expansive and its process may vary from journal to journal, the understanding of the themes outlined in this paper will help authors recognize how to write a more successful paper. Also, more research must be carried out to establish the efficacy of the different styles of peer review, and it would be presumptuous to draw conclusions until further research is established.
This article was published in Hand (N Y)
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences