Assessing the quality of the peer review process: Author and editorial board member perspectives
Because peer review is central to the publication of rigorous research, periodic assessment of the process's effectiveness is clearly warranted. Two online surveys, one for authors (n = 102) and the other for Editorial Board members (n = 20), were conducted to assess their perspectives on the quality and timeliness of peer review. The Ï2 or Fisher exact test was used to analyze differences between authors and Board member responses. Authors of accepted manuscripts were significantly more likely to rate the review as the same or better than other peer reviews they had received when compared with authors of rejected manuscripts (93.3% vs 47.4%, respectively, P = .001). In general, perceptions of review quality among Board members and authors were similar, but Board members were significantly more likely to rate reviewers as fair and unbiased (91.4% and 70%, respectively, P = .04). Approximately one-fourth (23.5%) of authors reported that length of time between manuscript submission and receipt of decision was 0 to 4 weeks, 38.2% indicated 5 to 7 weeks, 18.6% took 8 to 10 weeks, and 19.6% of authors reported that the decision required more than 10 weeks. This survey of authors and Board members provided important insights into perceptions of the peer review process and identified areas for improvement.