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Editor-in-chief's message

Author(s): Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC

Dear Colleagues,

Are you looking for a challenging but rewarding opportunity to participate in enhancing advanced practice nursing (APN) knowledge? If the answer is yes, I hope you will consider becoming a peer reviewer for our journal. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

What is the role of a peer reviewer?

Peer reviewers are important consultants to journal editors and authors. Their major role may be content expert, practice expert, or research methodology expert, although one peer reviewer need not fill all these roles. We match the skills of a peer reviewer with the needs of a given manuscript. When a manuscript has a clinical focus, we try to choose reviewers with expertise in the content or practice area covered in the manuscript. When we receive a qualitative or quantitative research manuscript, we try to choose reviewers who have expertise in that research methodology.

Most important, we strive to identify and maintain a strong cadre of thoughtful and thorough reviewers who are willing to provide truthful and constructive critiques. Diversity among our peer reviewers is also important; we are looking for reviewers who vary in terms  of their role (academic or clinical practice), years of experience,  areas of expertise, and populations served.

What is in it for me?

APNs in the academic world reap the benefits of adding peer reviewer contributions to their CVs and promotion documents. Novice authors may find the process of doing peer reviews helpful in improving the quality of their own writing. Seasoned authors may enjoy fostering the professional growth of novice authors through constructive peer reviews that identify both the positive features of a manuscript and the areas that need improvement. All peer reviewers can take satisfaction in knowing that they are contributing to the APN profession by supporting the publication of high-quality, relevant, evidence-based articles that can help their colleagues provide the best possible care for their patients.

What happens when I receive a manuscript for review?

First, you will receive a request from us that informs you of the topic of the manuscript and our turnaround time (3-4 weeks). This information will help you decide whether you are interested and whether you have time to do the review. (If, after making the commitment, you find that you need a small extension, we are almost always able to grant it.) Next, if you accept our offer, we will send you the blinded manuscript with a peer reviewer evaluation form. The entire review process is completed electronically and takes about 4 hours.

The peer reviewer evaluation form includes a list of questions about the content and about your general impression regarding whether the manuscript merits publication in our journal. You can provide comments and suggestions on the evaluation form, but we encourage you to make them right on the manuscript.

We do not ask you to correct grammar or spelling errors;  in many, if not most, cases, we will have edited the  manuscript before we send it to you. We do ask that you  read the manuscript to determine whether the information is accurate, supported by evidence, relevant, and clearly presented, and to make suggestions for improvement. We also ask you to check the references for timeliness and appropriateness and to identify any important resources that might be missing. For research manuscripts, we ask for a thorough review of methodology.

How can I learn to do a good peer review?

At your request, Dory Greene, our managing editor, and I would be happy to provide feedback on your review. Even for novices, though, if your review is thoughtful, thorough, and truthful, it will be useful and very much appreciated.

How do I sign up to be a peer reviewer?

Click Here! I hope to hear from you soon!
Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC

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