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Peer-Review Process: A Dilemma for the Chief Editors
The most difficult task that meets chief editors is the peer-review process. The main goal of peer reviewing is to ensure good science and to eliminate bad-quality science.
Peer reviewers are qualified specialists in the field of the research work under evaluation. It is expected that the reviewer can give sound and objective opinion about the validity, quality, and often the originality of articles for publication. The reviewer should check the consistency of information in the different sections of the article, including the abstract, the methods used, the results obtained, the discussion of the data, and finally the conclusion reached. Reviewer's final report should point to the article's strengths, weaknesses, and importance in order to help the journal's chief editor to take the right decision. The report as well should help author(s) to improve the presentation of the submitted article according to the reviewer's comments. However, this is not the case for most of the time, and chief editors are faced with the dilemma of receiving worthless reviewers reports. Many reviewers main response is either to accept or reject, without giving the reasons why. Others think that their role is mainly to correct the language of the article. Very few can lay a scientific input that can help both the editors and author(s).
The reasons for bad reviewing are many and it is difficult to pinpoint one reason. One of the main reasons is that reviewing is usually free and without incentives. In this case, the reviewer will not put too much effort, as proper reviewing will take considerable time and effort. This reason is mostly true for modest journals like LIMUJ. Another reason is that most reviewers in the medical field had little training and they learned reviewing either by trial and error or by working with an experienced reviewer.
Although peer review is an enigma for chief editors, it is still the only way of ensuring good quality science if applied correctly. We are in real need of new ideas to improve our peer-review process.
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Article published online:
06 March 2023
© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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