Friday, December 18, 2015

A few thoughts on reviewers´ conflict of interest

Over the past decade, it has become customary for most peer-review journals (including APS journals) to ask potential reviewers to declare potential conflict of interests. Circumstances that may be perceived as conflict of interest typically include e.g. a close personal or professional relationship between the reviewer and any of the authors, or mutual involvement in a contentious dispute on the topic of the manuscript. However, on a much broader scale, we all (as reviewers and editors) have conflicts of interest, which relate to an ever more precious and scarcer resource: time. When reviewing manuscripts, we extract time from our busy schedules for a task that – by its anonymous nature – constitutes primarily a quiet service to our community by which we pay back what we ourselves receive when our own manuscripts are reviewed by expert reviewers providing – hopefully – meaningful and constructive advice and guidance. Such good citizenship typically yields little-to-no immediate merit for the reviewers themselves. Some reviewers, however, tend to strive for some indirect revenue, by suggesting to authors to reference specific papers which – of course by pure coincidence - happen to be their own. In some instances, this will be entirely justified, as the authors may have missed to take an important piece of literature into consideration which just happens to be authored by the reviewer. In other instances, however, such recommendations will be less motivated by our surge for scientific accuracy but rather by our vanity. Such hijacking of what is essentially a pro bono service for self-promotion constitutes a significant and unacceptable conflict of interest. No-one should be coerced to cite "paper xyz“, unless it serves the purpose to improve the scientific valor and accuracy of a manuscript. Authors submitting manuscripts to AJP-Lung should know that the editorial board and our reviewers work hard to ensure constructive and unbiased reviews of all manuscripts in a fair and timely manner that are based on scientific merit alone. In 2014, the average time to first decision for submitted manuscripts was 22.3 days.
Wolfgang Kuebler, Associate Editor

Monday, December 14, 2015

AJP-Lung will offer CME credit in 2016

The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to announce that beginning January 2016 it will offer a manuscript review Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity to the reviewers of the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (AJP‐Lung) as a benefit of reviewing for the journal. The APS is pleased to be working in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine, which is administering this CME activity. Washington University School of Medicine is a CME provider accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and designates the AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM within the American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award (AMA PRA) system.

A participating reviewer may be awarded 3 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per review; a reviewer may claim up to 15 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per year.

Our Associate Editors will be responsible for assigning a score to each review. This score will serve as the measure of acceptability of the review for CME credit. The scoring parameters to receive CME credit are a maximum 14‐day turnaround with a score of "Good" or higher.

Reviewers who indicate an interest in earning CME for their review will receive written notification about whether they earned CME credit based on the quality of the review. This notification will serve as documentation of their earned CME credit. Please note that 1) the CME credit will only be given for first reviews of manuscripts; reviewers will not receive additional credit for revised versions 2) there will be no cost to the reviewer for receiving CME credit as the program is supported by the APS and 3) credit will be awarded annually.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

APS Select December 2015

AJP-Lung would also like to recognize one of our papers who was honored with the APSselect selection for December 2015. "DNA damage response at telomeres contributes to lung aging and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease" was written by Jodie Birch and her colleagues. Please click on the link below to access this important article.