September 19th to 25th is Peer Review Week!
Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review has in maintaining scientific quality. The goal is to bring together individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly communications.
The week features a series of webinars, online talks, Q&A sessions, awards, expert panels, and meetups on the importance of proper peer review in scientific research.
What comprises a good vs a bad review? Editors of the AGA Journals offer some advice:
Richard M. Peek Jr, editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology, explains that a high-quality review is an objective but fair assessment of a manuscript that provides actionable and constructive recommendations to the author.
Peek says that a low-quality review would include critiques based on an inadequate and cursory read of the manuscript, detrimental or harsh remarks, or personal comments.
Douglas A. Corley, deputy editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology, adds that a high-quality review reflects a careful reading of the paper, including its tables, figures and legends, and provides discrete descriptions of major concerns (problems with the analysis, presentation or interpretation, how it fits into the literature) as well as minor concerns (apparent errors or areas that need clarification).
Corley says that poor reviews lack descriptions of the papers specific strengths and weaknesses and don’t provide specific recommendations for how to improve the manuscript.
Hashem B. El-Serag, editor-in-chief of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CGH), says that a good review provides systematic brief commentary on strengths and weaknesses on the main aspects of the study (novelty, methods, results, etc), accompanied by an opinion built on these points. A poor review provides an executive summary that is not supported by specific comments.
Jerrold R. Turner, editor-in-chief of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CMGH), says that the best reviews consider the big picture before focusing on small details, whereas weak reviews often focus on the reputation of authors over content.
We welcome your thoughts on the peer review process-please enter them in the ‘Leave A Reply’ box below, and be sure to keep an eye on the latest tweets from AGA, as well as the Gastroenterology, CGH and CMGH Facebook pages for additional activities celebrating Peer Review Week!