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1.  The Relationship of Previous Training and Experience of Journal Peer Reviewers to Subsequent Review Quality 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e40.
Background
Peer review is considered crucial to the selection and publication of quality science, but very little is known about the previous experiences and training that might identify high-quality peer reviewers. The reviewer selection processes of most journals, and thus the qualifications of their reviewers, are ill defined. More objective selection of peer reviewers might improve the journal peer review process and thus the quality of published science.
Methods and Findings
306 experienced reviewers (71% of all those associated with a specialty journal) completed a survey of past training and experiences postulated to improve peer review skills. Reviewers performed 2,856 reviews of 1,484 separate manuscripts during a four-year study period, all prospectively rated on a standardized quality scale by editors. Multivariable analysis revealed that most variables, including academic rank, formal training in critical appraisal or statistics, or status as principal investigator of a grant, failed to predict performance of higher-quality reviews. The only significant predictors of quality were working in a university-operated hospital versus other teaching environment and relative youth (under ten years of experience after finishing training). Being on an editorial board and doing formal grant (study section) review were each predictors for only one of our two comparisons. However, the predictive power of all variables was weak.
Conclusions
Our study confirms that there are no easily identifiable types of formal training or experience that predict reviewer performance. Skill in scientific peer review may be as ill defined and hard to impart as is “common sense.” Without a better understanding of those skills, it seems unlikely journals and editors will be successful in systematically improving their selection of reviewers. This inability to predict performance makes it imperative that all but the smallest journals implement routine review ratings systems to routinely monitor the quality of their reviews (and thus the quality of the science they publish).
A survey of experienced reviewers, asked about training they had received in peer review, found there are no easily identifiable types of formal training and experience that predict reviewer performance.
Editors' Summary
Background.
When medical researchers have concluded their research and written it up, the next step is to get it published as an article in a journal, so that the findings can be circulated widely. These published findings help determine subsequent research and clinical use. The editors of reputable journals, including PLoS Medicine, have to decide whether the articles sent to them are of good quality and accurate and whether they will be of interest to the readers of their journal. To do this they need to obtain specialist advice, so they contact experts in the topic of the research article and ask them to write reports. This is the process of scientific peer review, and the experts who write such reports are known as “peer reviewers.” Although the editors make the final decision, the advice and criticism of these peer reviewers to the editors is essential in making decisions on publication, and usually in requiring authors to make changes to their manuscript. The contribution that peer reviewers have made to the article by the time it is finally published may, therefore, be quite considerable.
Although peer review is accepted as a key part of the process for the publishing of medical research, many people have argued that there are flaws in the system. For example, there may be an element of luck involved; one author might find their paper being reviewed by a reviewer who is biased against the approach they have adopted or who is a very critical person by nature, and another author may have the good fortune to have their work considered by someone who is much more favorably disposed toward their work. Some reviewers are more knowledgeable and thorough in their work than others. The editors of medical journals try to take in account such biases and quality factors in their choice of peer reviewers or when assessing the reviews. Some journals have run training courses for experts who review for them regularly to try to make the standard of peer review as high as possible.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is hard for journal editors to know who will make a good peer reviewer, and there is no proven system for choosing them. The authors of this study wanted to identify the previous experiences and training that make up the background of good peer reviewers and compare them with the quality of the reviews provided. This would help journal editors select good people for the task in future, and as a result will affect the quality of science they publish for readers, including other researchers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors contacted all the regular reviewers from one specialist journal (Annals of Emergency Medicine). A total of 306 of these experienced reviewers (71% of all those associated with the journal) completed a survey of past training and experiences that might be expected to improve peer review skills. These reviewers had done 2,856 reviews of 1,484 separate manuscripts during a four-year study period, and during this time the quality of the reviews had been rated by the journal's editors. Surprisingly, most variables, including academic rank, formal training in critical appraisal or statistics, or status as principal investigator of a grant, failed to predict performance of higher-quality reviews. The only significant predictors of quality were working in a university-operated hospital versus other teaching environment and relative youth (under ten years of experience after finishing training), and even these were only weak predictors.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study suggest that there are no easily identifiable types of formal training or experience that predict peer reviewer performance, although it is clear that some reviewers (and reviews) are better than others. The authors suggest that it is essential therefore that journals routinely monitor the quality of reviews submitted to them to ensure they are getting good advice (a practice that is not universal).
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040040
• WAME is an association of editors from many countries who seek to foster international cooperation among editors of peer-reviewed medical journals
• The Fifth International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication is one of a series of conferences on peer review
• The PLoS Medicine guidelines for reviewers outline what we look for in a review
• The Council of Science Editors promotes ethical scientific publishing practices
• An editorial also published in this issue of PLoS Medicine discusses the peer review process further
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040040
PMCID: PMC1796627  PMID: 17411314
2.  The Usefulness of Peer Review for Selecting Manuscripts for Publication: A Utility Analysis Taking as an Example a High-Impact Journal 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11344.
Background
High predictive validity – that is, a strong association between the outcome of peer review (usually, reviewers' ratings) and the scientific quality of a manuscript submitted to a journal (measured as citations of the later published paper) – does not as a rule suffice to demonstrate the usefulness of peer review for the selection of manuscripts. To assess usefulness, it is important to include in addition the base rate (proportion of submissions that are fundamentally suitable for publication) and the selection rate (the proportion of submissions accepted).
Methodology/Principal Findings
Taking the example of the high-impact journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition (AC-IE), we present a general approach for determining the usefulness of peer reviews for the selection of manuscripts for publication. The results of our study show that peer review is useful: 78% of the submissions accepted by AC-IE are correctly accepted for publication when the editor's decision is based on one review, 69% of the submissions are correctly accepted for publication when the editor's decision is based on two reviews, and 65% of the submissions are correctly accepted for publication when the editor's decision is based on three reviews.
Conclusions/Significance
The paper points out through what changes in the selection rate, base rate or validity coefficient a higher success rate (utility) in the AC-IE selection process could be achieved.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011344
PMCID: PMC2893207  PMID: 20596540
3.  Evaluation Criteria for Publishing in Top-Tier Journals in Environmental Health Sciences and Toxicology 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2011;119(7):896-899.
Background: Trying to publish a paper in a top-rated peer-reviewed journal can be a difficult and frustrating experience for authors. It is important that authors understand the general review process before submitting manuscripts for publication.
Objectives: Editors-in-chief and associate editors from top-tier journals such as Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), Toxicological Sciences, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Chemical Research in Toxicology were asked to provide guidance concerning the writing and submission of papers to their journals.
Discussion: The editors reviewed the manuscript review process for their journals, elaborated on the evaluation criteria for reviewing papers, and provided advice for future authors in preparing their papers.
Conclusions: The manuscript submission process was similar for all of the journals with the exception of EHP that includes an initial screening in which about two-thirds of submitted papers are returned to the authors without review. The evaluation criteria used by the journals were also similar. Papers that are relevant to the scope of the journal, are innovative, significantly advance the field, are well written, and adhere to the instructions to authors have a higher likelihood of being accepted. The editors advised potential authors to ensure that the topic of the paper is within the scope of the journal, represents an important problem, is carefully prepared according to the instructions to authors, and to seek editorial assistance if English is not the primary language of the authors.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1003280
PMCID: PMC3222983  PMID: 21414890
environmental health sciences; evaluation criteria; peer review; top-tier journals; toxicology
4.  A Study of Innovative Features in Scholarly Open Access Journals 
Background
The emergence of the Internet has triggered tremendous changes in the publication of scientific peer-reviewed journals. Today, journals are usually available in parallel electronic versions, but the way the peer-review process works, the look of articles and journals, and the rigid and slow publication schedules have remained largely unchanged, at least for the vast majority of subscription-based journals. Those publishing firms and scholarly publishers who have chosen the more radical option of open access (OA), in which the content of journals is freely accessible to anybody with Internet connectivity, have had a much bigger degree of freedom to experiment with innovations.
Objective
The objective was to study how open access journals have experimented with innovations concerning ways of organizing the peer review, the format of journals and articles, new interactive and media formats, and novel publishing revenue models.
Methods
The features of 24 open access journals were studied. The journals were chosen in a nonrandom manner from the approximately 7000 existing OA journals based on available information about interesting journals and include both representative cases and highly innovative outlier cases.
Results
Most early OA journals in the 1990s were founded by individual scholars and used a business model based on voluntary work close in spirit to open-source development of software. In the next wave, many long-established journals, in particular society journals and journals from regions such as Latin America, made their articles OA when they started publishing parallel electronic versions. From about 2002 on, newly founded professional OA publishing firms using article-processing charges to fund their operations have emerged. Over the years, there have been several experiments with new forms of peer review, media enhancements, and the inclusion of structured data sets with articles. In recent years, the growth of OA publishing has also been facilitated by the availability of open-source software for journal publishing.
Conclusions
The case studies illustrate how a new technology and a business model enabled by new technology can be harnessed to find new innovative ways for the organization and content of scholarly publishing. Several recent launches of OA journals by major subscription publishers demonstrate that OA is rapidly gaining acceptance as a sustainable alternative to subscription-based scholarly publishing.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1802
PMCID: PMC3278101  PMID: 22173122
Scholarly publishing; open access; Internet; peer review
5.  Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policies and Practices in Peer-reviewed Biomedical Journals 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2006;21(12):1248-1252.
OBJECTIVE
We undertook this investigation to characterize conflict of interest (COI) policies of biomedical journals with respect to authors, peer-reviewers, and editors, and to ascertain what information about COI disclosures is publicly available.
METHODS
We performed a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of 135 editors of peer-reviewed biomedical journals that publish original research. We chose an international selection of general and specialty medical journals that publish in English. Selection was based on journal impact factor, and the recommendations of experts in the field. We developed and pilot tested a 3-part web-based survey. The survey included questions about the presence of specific policies for authors, peer-reviewers, and editors, specific restrictions on authors, peer-reviewers, and editors based on COI, and the public availability of these disclosures. Editors were contacted a minimum of 3 times.
RESULTS
The response rate for the survey was 91 (67%) of 135, and 85 (93%) of 91 journals reported having an author COI policy. Ten (11%) journals reported that they restrict author submissions based on COI (e.g., drug company authors' papers on their products are not accepted). While 77% report collecting COI information on all author submissions, only 57% publish all author disclosures. A minority of journals report having a specific policy on peer-reviewer 46% (42/91) or editor COI 40% (36/91); among these, 25% and 31% of journals state that they require recusal of peer-reviewers and editors if they report a COI. Only 3% of respondents publish COI disclosures of peer-reviewers, and 12% publish editor COI disclosures, while 11% and 24%, respectively, reported that this information is available upon request.
CONCLUSION
Many more journals have a policy regarding COI for authors than they do for peer-reviewers or editors. Even author COI policies are variable, depending on the type of manuscript submitted. The COI information that is collected by journals is often not published; the extent to which such “secret disclosure” may impact the integrity of the journal or the published work is not known.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00598.x
PMCID: PMC1924760  PMID: 17105524
conflict of interest; disclosure; peer-review; editorial policy
6.  How to Write a Scholarly Book Review for Publication in a Peer-Reviewed Journal 
Purpose:
To describe and discuss the processes used to write scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals and to provide a recommended strategy and book appraisal worksheet to use when conducting book reviews.
Methods:
A literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Index to Chiropractic Literature was conducted in June 2009 using a combination of controlled vocabulary and truncated text words to capture articles relevant to writing scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Results:
The initial search identified 839 citations. Following the removal of duplicates and the application of selection criteria, a total of 78 articles were included in this review including narrative commentaries (n = 26), editorials or journal announcements (n = 25), original research (n = 18), and journal correspondence pieces (n = 9).
Discussion:
Recommendations for planning and writing an objective and quality book review are presented based on the evidence gleaned from the articles reviewed and from the authors' experiences. A worksheet for conducting a book review is provided.
Conclusions:
The scholarly book review serves many purposes and has the potential to be an influential literary form. The process of publishing a successful scholarly book review requires the reviewer to appreciate the book review publication process and to be aware of the skills and strategies involved in writing a successful review.
PMCID: PMC2870990  PMID: 20480015
Authorship; Book Reviews; Book Reviews as Topic; Manuscripts as Topic; Publishing; Writing
7.  Preparing raw clinical data for publication: guidance for journal editors, authors, and peer reviewers 
Trials  2010;11:9.
In recognition of the benefits of transparent reporting, many peer-reviewed journals require that their authors be prepared to share their raw, unprocessed data with other scientists and/or state the availability of raw data in published articles. But little information on how data should be prepared for publication - or sharing - has emerged. In clinical research patient privacy and consent for use of personal health information are key considerations, but agreed-upon definitions of what constitutes anonymised patient information do not appear to have been established. We aim to address this issue by providing practical guidance for those involved in the publication process, by proposing a minimum standard for de-identifying datasets for the purposes of publication in a peer-reviewed biomedical journal, or sharing with other researchers. Basic advice on file preparation is provided along with procedural guidance on prospective and retrospective publication of raw data, with an emphasis on randomised controlled trials.
In order to encourage its wide dissemination this article is freely accessible on the BMJ and Trials journal web sites.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-9
PMCID: PMC2825513  PMID: 20113465
8.  Best peer reviewers and the quality of peer review in biomedical journals 
Croatian Medical Journal  2012;53(4):386-389.
Current scholarly publications heavily rely on high quality peer review. Peer review, albeit imperfect, is aimed at improving science writing and editing. Evidence supporting peer review as a guarantor of the quality of biomedical publications is currently lacking. Its outcomes are largely dependent on the credentials of the reviewers. Several lines of evidence suggest that predictors of the best contributors to the process include affiliation to a good University and proper research training. Though the options to further improve peer review are currently limited, experts are in favor of formal education and courses on peer review for all contributors to this process. Long-term studies are warranted to assess the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.
doi:10.3325/cmj.2012.53.386
PMCID: PMC3428827  PMID: 22911533
9.  Article processing charges, funding, and open access publishing at Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction 
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction is an Open Access, online, electronic journal published by BioMed Central with full contents available to the scientific and medical community free of charge to all readers. Authors maintain the copyright to their own work, a policy facilitating dissemination of data to the widest possible audience without requiring permission from the publisher. This Open Access publishing model is subsidized by authors (or their institutions/funding agencies) in the form of a single £330 article processing charge (APC), due at the time of manuscript acceptance for publication. Payment of the APC is not a condition for formal peer review and does not apply to articles rejected after review. Additionally, this fee is waived for authors whose institutions are BioMed Central members or where genuine financial hardship exists. Considering ordinary publication fees related to page charges and reprints, the APC at Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction is comparable to costs associated with publishing in some traditional print journals, and is less expensive than many. Implementation of the APC within this Open Access framework is envisioned as a modern research-friendly policy that supports networking among investigators, brings new research into reach rapidly, and empowers authors with greater control over their own scholarly publications.
doi:10.1186/1743-1050-2-1
PMCID: PMC546227  PMID: 15649322
10.  A retrospective analysis of submissions, acceptance rate, open peer review operations, and prepublication bias of the multidisciplinary open access journal Head & Face Medicine 
Head & Face Medicine  2007;3:27.
Background
Head & Face Medicine (HFM) was launched in August 2005 to provide multidisciplinary science in the field of head and face disorders with an open access and open peer review publication platform. The objective of this study is to evaluate the characteristics of submissions, the effectiveness of open peer reviewing, and factors biasing the acceptance or rejection of submitted manuscripts.
Methods
A 1-year period of submissions and all concomitant journal operations were retrospectively analyzed. The analysis included submission rate, reviewer rate, acceptance rate, article type, and differences in duration for peer reviewing, final decision, publishing, and PubMed inclusion. Statistical analysis included Mann-Whitney U test, Chi-square test, regression analysis, and binary logistic regression.
Results
HFM received 126 articles (10.5 articles/month) for consideration in the first year. Submissions have been increasing, but not significantly over time. Peer reviewing was completed for 82 articles and resulted in an acceptance rate of 48.8%. In total, 431 peer reviewers were invited (5.3/manuscript), of which 40.4% agreed to review. The mean peer review time was 37.8 days. The mean time between submission and acceptance (including time for revision) was 95.9 days. Accepted papers were published on average 99.3 days after submission. The mean time between manuscript submission and PubMed inclusion was 101.3 days. The main article types submitted to HFM were original research, reviews, and case reports. The article type had no influence on rejection or acceptance. The variable 'number of invited reviewers' was the only significant (p < 0.05) predictor for rejection of manuscripts.
Conclusion
The positive trend in submissions confirms the need for publication platforms for multidisciplinary science. HFM's peer review time comes in shorter than the 6-weeks turnaround time the Editors set themselves as the maximum. Rejection of manuscripts was associated with the number of invited reviewers. None of the other parameters tested had any effect on the final decision. Thus, HFM's ethical policy, which is based on Open Access, Open Peer, and transparency of journal operations, is free of 'editorial bias' in accepting manuscripts.
Original data
Provided as a downloadable tab-delimited text file (URL and variable code available under section 'additional files').
doi:10.1186/1746-160X-3-27
PMCID: PMC1913501  PMID: 17562003
11.  International Breastfeeding Journal: Introducing a new journal 
International Breastfeeding Journal is a new open access peer-reviewed journal with a multidisciplinary focus. The aim of International Breastfeeding Journal is to contribute to understanding all aspects of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is recognized as an important public health issue with enormous social and economic implications. In order to help women breastfeed successfully there is a need to understand both the physiology of lactation and the social and cultural context within which breastfeeding occurs. International Breastfeeding Journal invites manuscripts from around the world, which address all of these aspects, including the impediments to breastfeeding, the health effects of not breastfeeding for infants and their mothers, and the management of breastfeeding problems.
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-1-1
PMCID: PMC1436019  PMID: 16722586
12.  Are Peer Reviewers Encouraged to Use Reporting Guidelines? A Survey of 116 Health Research Journals 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35621.
Background
Pre-publication peer review of manuscripts should enhance the value of research publications to readers who may wish to utilize findings in clinical care or health policy-making. Much published research across all medical specialties is not useful, may be misleading, wasteful and even harmful. Reporting guidelines are tools that in addition to helping authors prepare better manuscripts may help peer reviewers in assessing them. We examined journals' instructions to peer reviewers to see if and how reviewers are encouraged to use them.
Methods
We surveyed websites of 116 journals from the McMaster list. Main outcomes were 1) identification of online instructions to peer reviewers and 2) presence or absence of key domains within instructions: on journal logistics, reviewer etiquette and addressing manuscript content (11 domains).
Findings
Only 41/116 journals (35%) provided online instructions. All 41 guided reviewers about the logistics of their review processes, 38 (93%) outlined standards of behaviour expected and 39 (95%) contained instruction about evaluating the manuscript content. There was great variation in explicit instruction for reviewers about how to evaluate manuscript content. Almost half of the online instructions 19/41 (46%) mentioned reporting guidelines usually as general statements suggesting they may be useful or asking whether authors had followed them rather than clear instructions about how to use them. All 19 named CONSORT for reporting randomized trials but there was little mention of CONSORT extensions. PRISMA, QUOROM (forerunner of PRISMA), STARD, STROBE and MOOSE were mentioned by several journals. No other reporting guideline was mentioned by more than two journals.
Conclusions
Although almost half of instructions mentioned reporting guidelines, their value in improving research publications is not being fully realised. Journals have a responsibility to support peer reviewers. We make several recommendations including wider reference to the EQUATOR Network online library (www.equator-network.org/).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035621
PMCID: PMC3338712  PMID: 22558178
13.  Publication Rates of Public Health Theses in International and National Peer-Review Journals in Turkey 
Background:
Thesis is an important part of specialisation and doctorate education and requires intense work. The aim of this study was to investigate the publication rates of Turkish Public Health Doctorate Theses (PHDT) and Public Health Specialization (PHST) theses in international and Turkish national peer-review journals and to analyze the distribution of research areas.
Methods:
List of all theses upto 30 September 2009 were retrieved from theses database of the Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Turkey. The publication rates of these theses were found by searching PubMed, Science Citation Index-Expanded, Turkish Academic Network and Information Center (ULAKBIM) Turkish Medical Database, and Turkish Medline databases for the names of thesis author and mentor. The theses which were published in journals indexed either in PubMed or SCI-E were considered as international publications.
Results:
Our search yielded a total of 538 theses (243 PHDT, 295 PHST). It was found that the overall publication rate in Turkish national journals was 18%. The overall publication rate in international journals was 11.9%. Overall the most common research area was occupational health.
Conclusion:
Publication rates of Turkish PHDT and PHST are low. A better understanding of factors affecting this publication rate is important for public health issues where national data is vital for better intervention programs and develop better public health policies.
PMCID: PMC3494212  PMID: 23193503
Bibliometrics; Mentor; Publishing; Research; Scientometrics; Turkey
14.  Ethical guidelines for authorship and publishing in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle 
The principles of ethical authorship and publishing in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM) are: all authors listed on the manuscript have approved its submission and publication as provided to JCSM;no person who has a right to be recognized as author has been omitted from the list of authors;each author has made an independent material contribution to the work submitted for publication;the submitted work is original and is neither under consideration elsewhere nor has it been published previously in whole or in part other than in abstract form;all original research work is approved by the relevant bodies such as institutional review boards or ethics committees;all conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, that may affect the authors’ ability to present data objectively have been duly declared in the manuscript;the manuscript in its published form will be maintained on the servers of JCSM as a valid publication only as long as all statements in the guidelines on ethical publishing remain true;if any of the aforementioned statements ceases to be true, the authors have a duty to notify the editors of JCSM as soon as possible so that the information available online can be updated and/or the manuscript can be withdrawn.
doi:10.1007/s13539-010-0003-5
PMCID: PMC3060648  PMID: 21475697
15.  Ethical guidelines for authorship and publishing in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle 
The principles of ethical authorship and publishing in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM) are: all authors listed on the manuscript have approved its submission and publication as provided to JCSM;no person who has a right to be recognized as author has been omitted from the list of authors;each author has made an independent material contribution to the work submitted for publication;the submitted work is original and is neither under consideration elsewhere nor has it been published previously in whole or in part other than in abstract form;all original research work is approved by the relevant bodies such as institutional review boards or ethics committees;all conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, that may affect the authors’ ability to present data objectively have been duly declared in the manuscript;the manuscript in its published form will be maintained on the servers of JCSM as a valid publication only as long as all statements in the guidelines on ethical publishing remain true;if any of the aforementioned statements ceases to be true, the authors have a duty to notify the editors of JCSM as soon as possible so that the information available online can be updated and/or the manuscript can be withdrawn.
doi:10.1007/s13539-010-0003-5
PMCID: PMC3060648  PMID: 21475697
16.  HOW TO WRITE A SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE 
Successful production of a written product for submission to a peer‐reviewed scientific journal requires substantial effort. Such an effort can be maximized by following a few simple suggestions when composing/creating the product for submission. By following some suggested guidelines and avoiding common errors, the process can be streamlined and success realized for even beginning/novice authors as they negotiate the publication process. The purpose of this invited commentary is to offer practical suggestions for achieving success when writing and submitting manuscripts to The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and other professional journals.
PMCID: PMC3474301  PMID: 23091783
Journal submission; scientific writing; strategies and tips
17.  Selecting the right journal for your submission 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2012;4(3):336-338.
Increasing pressure on researchers and academic clinicians to publish high volumes of work in highly visible publication outlets means that authors must have a finely tuned, efficient process for submission. One of the key decisions every author must make is where to submit their paper. This article addresses several important components to making that decision, including (I) topic match; (II) acceptance/rejection rate of the journal; (III) speed of review/publication; (IV) distribution of and access to the journal; and (V) impact factor.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2012.05.06
PMCID: PMC3378199  PMID: 22754677
Submission; selecting journal; process
18.  Effects of Print Publication Lag in Dual Format Journals on Scientometric Indicators 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e59877.
Background
Publication lag between manuscript submission and its final publication is considered as an important factor affecting the decision to submit, the timeliness of presented data, and the scientometric measures of the particular journal. Dual-format peer-reviewed journals (publishing both print and online editions of their content) adopted a broadly accepted strategy to shorten the publication lag: to publish the accepted manuscripts online ahead of their print editions, which may follow days, but also years later. Effects of this widespread habit on the immediacy index (average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published) calculation were never analyzed.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Scopus database (which contains nearly up-to-date documents in press, but does not reveal citations by these documents until they are finalized) was searched for the journals with the highest total counts of articles in press, or highest counts of articles in press appearing online in 2010–2011. Number of citations received by the articles in press available online was found to be nearly equal to citations received within the year when the document was assigned to a journal issue. Thus, online publication of in press articles affects severely the calculation of immediacy index of their source titles, and disadvantages online-only and print-only journals when evaluating them according to the immediacy index and probably also according to the impact factor and similar measures.
Conclusions/Significance
Caution should be taken when evaluating dual-format journals supporting long publication lag. Further research should answer the question, on whether the immediacy index should be replaced by an indicator based on the date of first publication (online or in print, whichever comes first) to eliminate the problems analyzed in this report. Information value of immediacy index is further questioned by very high ratio of authors’ self-citations among the citation window used for its calculation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059877
PMCID: PMC3616011  PMID: 23573216
19.  Peer review and journal impact factor: the two pillars of contemporary medical publishing 
Hippokratia  2010;14(Suppl 1):5-12.
The appraisal of scientific quality is a particularly difficult problem. Editorial boards resort to secondary criteria including crude publication counts, journal prestige, the reputation of authors and institutions, and estimated importance and relevance of the research field, making peer review a controversial rather than a rigorous process. On this background different methods for evaluating research may become required, including citation rates and journal impact factors (IF), which are thought to be more quantitative and objective indicators, directly related to published science. The aim of this review is to go into the two pillars of contemporary medical publishing, that is the peer review process and the IF. Qualified experts' reviewing the publications appears to be the only way for the evaluation of medical publication quality. To improve and standardise the principles, procedures and criteria used in peer review evaluation is of great importance. Standardizing and improving training techniques for peer reviewers, would allow for the magnification of a journal's impact factor. This may be a very important reason that impact factor and peer review need to be analyzed simultaneously. Improving a journal's IF would be difficult without improving peer-review efficiency. Peer-reviewers need to understand the fundamental principles of contemporary medical publishing, that is peer-review and impact factors. The current supplement of the Hippokratia for supporting its seminar for reviewers will help to fulfil some of these scopes.
PMCID: PMC3049421  PMID: 21487485
impact factor; peer-review; citation; editor; medical; quality
20.  How to Select a Journal to Submit and Publish Your Biomedical Paper? 
BioImpacts : BI  2012;2(1):61-68.
SUMMARY
Introduction
journal selection for publication purposes is one of the concerns of biomedi-cal researchers. They apply various criteria for choosing appropriate journal. Here, we have tried to collect main criteria biomedical researchers use to select a journal to submit their works.
Methods
we collected these criteria through focus group conversations with researchers during our careers, feedbacks from participants of our scientific writing work-shops and non-systematic review of some related literature.
Results
we have presented a summative and informative guidance in the selection of journals for biomedical paper submission and publication.
Conclusion
Categorized criteria as a mnemonic tool for au-thors may help the authors in journal selection process.
doi:10.5681/bi.2012.008
PMCID: PMC3648921  PMID: 23678443
Journal Selection Criteria; Submission and Publication; Biomedical Papers
21.  Endorsement of the CONSORT Statement by high impact factor medical journals: a survey of journal editors and journal 'Instructions to Authors' 
Trials  2008;9:20.
Background
The CONSORT Statement provides recommendations for reporting randomized controlled trials. We assessed the extent to which leading medical journals that publish reports of randomized trials incorporate the CONSORT recommendations into their journal and editorial processes.
Methods
This article reports on two observational studies. Study 1: We examined the online version of 'Instructions to Authors' for 165 high impact factor medical journals and extracted all text mentioning the CONSORT Statement or CONSORT extension papers. Any mention of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) or clinical trial registration were also sought and extracted. Study 2: We surveyed the editor-in-chief, or editorial office, for each of the 165 journals about their journal's endorsement of CONSORT recommendations and its incorporation into their editorial and peer-review processes.
Results
Study 1: Thirty-eight percent (62/165) of journals mentioned the CONSORT Statement in their online 'Instructions to Authors'; of these 37% (23/62) stated this was a requirement, 63% (39/62) were less clear in their recommendations. Very few journals mentioned the CONSORT extension papers. Journals that referred to CONSORT were more likely to refer to ICMJE guidelines (RR 2.16; 95% CI 1.51 to 3.08) and clinical trial registration (RR 3.67; 95% CI 2.36 to 5.71) than those journals which did not.
Study 2: Thirty-nine percent (64/165) of journals responded to the on-line survey, the majority were journal editors. Eighty-eight percent (50/57) of journals recommended authors comply with the CONSORT Statement; 62% (35/56) said they would require this. Forty-one percent (22/53) reported incorporating CONSORT into their peer-review process and 47% (25/53) into their editorial process. Eighty-one percent (47/58) reported including CONSORT in their 'Instructions to Authors' although there was some inconsistency when cross checking information on the journal's website. Sixty-nine percent (31/45) of journals recommended authors comply with the CONSORT extension for cluster trials, 60% (27/45) for harms and 42% (19/45) for non-inferiority and equivalence trials. Few journals mentioned these extensions in their 'Instructions to Authors'.
Conclusion
Journals should be more explicit in their recommendations and expectations of authors regarding the CONSORT Statement and related CONSORT extensions papers.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-9-20
PMCID: PMC2359733  PMID: 18423021
22.  The Validity of Peer Review in a General Medicine Journal 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22475.
All the opinions in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed to reflect, in any way, those of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Background
Our study purpose was to assess the predictive validity of reviewer quality ratings and editorial decisions in a general medicine journal.
Methods
Submissions to the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) between July 2004 and June 2005 were included. We abstracted JGIM peer review quality ratings, verified the publication status of all articles and calculated an impact factor for published articles (Rw) by dividing the 3-year citation rate by the average for this group of papers; an Rw>1 indicates a greater than average impact.
Results
Of 507 submissions, 128 (25%) were published in JGIM, 331 rejected (128 with review) and 48 were either not resubmitted after revision was requested or were withdrawn by the author. Of 331 rejections, 243 were published elsewhere. Articles published in JGIM had a higher citation rate than those published elsewhere (Rw: 1.6 vs. 1.1, p = 0.002). Reviewer quality ratings of article quality had good internal consistency and reviewer recommendations markedly influenced publication decisions. There was no quality rating cutpoint that accurately distinguished high from low impact articles. There was a stepwise increase in Rw for articles rejected without review, rejected after review or accepted by JGIM (Rw 0.60 vs. 0.87 vs. 1.56, p<0.0005). However, there was low agreement between reviewers for quality ratings and publication recommendations. The editorial publication decision accurately discriminated high and low impact articles in 68% of submissions. We found evidence of better accuracy with a greater number of reviewers.
Conclusions
The peer review process largely succeeds in selecting high impact articles and dispatching lower impact ones, but the process is far from perfect. While the inter-rater reliability between individual reviewers is low, the accuracy of sorting is improved with a greater number of reviewers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022475
PMCID: PMC3143147  PMID: 21799867
23.  Improving the peer review process in orthopaedic journals 
Bone & Joint Research  2013;2(11):245-247.
The peer review process for the evaluation of manuscripts for publication needs to be better understood by the orthopaedic community. Improving the degree of transparency surrounding the review process and educating orthopaedic surgeons on how to improve their manuscripts for submission will help improve both the review procedure and resultant feedback, with an increase in the quality of the subsequent publications. This article seeks to clarify the peer review process and suggest simple ways in which the quality of submissions can be improved to maximise publication success.
Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2013;2:245–7.
doi:10.1302/2046-3758.211.2000224
PMCID: PMC3834960  PMID: 24246426
Peer review; Orthopaedics; Journals; Publication; Guidelines; Blinding
24.  What is the purpose of launching World Journal of Cardiology? 
The first issue of World Journal of Cardiology (WJC), whose preparatory work was initiated on December 13, 2009, will be published on December 31, 2009. The WJC Editorial Board has now been established and consists of 298 distinguished experts from 40 countries. Our purpose of launching WJC is to publish peer-reviewed, high-quality articles via an open-access online publishing model, thereby acting as a platform for communication between peers and the wider public, and maximizing the benefits to editorial board members, authors and readers.
doi:10.4330/wjc.v1.i1.1
PMCID: PMC2999036  PMID: 21160569
Maximization of personal benefits; Editorial board members; Authors; Readers; Employees; World Journal of Cardiology
25.  What is the purpose of launching World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy? 
The first issue of World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (WJGE), whose preparatory work was initiated on October 13, 2008, will be published on October 15, 2009. The WJGE Editorial Board has now been established and consists of 97 distinguished experts from 24 countries. Our purpose of launching WJGE is to publish peer-reviewed, high-quality articles via an open-access online publishing model, thereby acting as a platform for communication between peers and the wider public, and maximizing the benefits to editorial board members, authors and readers.
doi:10.4253/wjge.v1.i1.1
PMCID: PMC2999072  PMID: 21160642
Maximization of personal benefits; Editorial board members; Authors; Readers; Employees; World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

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