Monday, February 29, 2016

Reflection on the editorial process

The engine of high quality peer review fuels authors’ careers and prestige, successful applications for future research support, and ultimately moves forward the field. The associate editor (AED) of a scientific journal is therefore entrusted with the important responsibility of ensuring high quality peer review of manuscripts submitted to the respective journal. There is an expectation that the AEDs will carefully choose the reviewers that will provide accurate technical appraisal of the work. This is especially important when faced with increasing multidisciplinary scientific reports. The AEDs should themselves appraise the manuscript while balancing reviewers’ comments and communicate clearly and timely what additional work is reasonably necessary to elevate the report to be accepted for publication, or why the work may not be suited for the respective journal. In this age of juggling multiple responsibilities during an ever-diminishing available time, there is a risk of erosion of the quality of work that the AED is expected to do. All too often, as authors or reviewers of manuscripts, we note that AED decisions are the rubberstamp of increasingly frustrated or hurried reviewers, or they follow the path of least resistance to a quick and not necessarily fair decision. Such habits erode the trust in the effectiveness of the current peer review processes and threaten the engine of the scientific progress. Our editorial team at AJP-Lung is striving to abide by the important principles of high quality peer review. We believe that this purposeful work is linked to the increase in the number of manuscripts we are receiving for peer review and will translate in the progress of our field.

Irina Petrache, MD
Associate Editor, AJP Lung

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