1. Dougherty, Molly C. PhD, RN

Article Content

To an insider like I am, peer review is an essential and an uneven process. To others-readers, authors, and even reviewers-it is often inscrutable and sometimes mysterious. At Nursing Research, we regularly take steps to smooth out and demystify peer review. We bring news of recent steps to make information about peer review known to our readers.


A new study on statistical reviews done for Nursing Research provided a comparison of the content and quality of statistical and scientific (general) reviews. Using a methodology developed for an earlier study an assessment of 105 reviews of 35 manuscripts revealed that scientific reviews were more comprehensive but did not evaluate statistical aspects of manuscripts. Statistical reviews were more likely to identify fatal flaws and were rated as more useful to the author for improving the manuscript. The authors state that the two types of reviews are complementary, and both are necessary. One review stood out from all those assessed for the overall quality rating it received (Henly, Bennett, & Dougherty, 2010). That review was of an article by Hoffman et al. (2009) and is the 60th manuscript on our open manuscript review (OMR) feature. The addition of this review provides readers with an exemplar of the qualities that editors and authors appreciate in reviews.


This year, we have added more than 20 manuscripts to the OMR, and they are readily accessible from MyLWW ( From the MyLWW home page of Nursing Research, click on the red OMR box.


To shed more light on what peer review means at Nursing Research, we have added information about the peer review of each published article. Specifically, we denote the number of reviewers and the number of revisions undertaken during the editorial process. This information is on the table of contents for the future issue, is found at the bottom of the right-hand column on the home page, and is accessed by highlighting the issue.


Peer review remains uneven, but we move ahead with deliberate steps to remove the mystery and smooth the process.


Molly C. Dougherty, PhD, RN




University of North Carolina Chapel Hill




Henly, S. J., Bennett, J. A., & Dougherty, M. C. (2010). Scientific and statistical reviews of manuscripts submitted to Nursing Research: Comparison of completeness, quality, and usefulness. Nursing Outlook, 58, 188-199. [Context Link]


Hoffman, A. J., von Eye, A., Gift, A. G., Given, B. A., Given, C. W., & Rothert, M. (2009). Testing a theoretical model of perceived self-efficacy for cancer-related fatigue self-management and optimal physical functional status. Nursing Research, 58, 32-41. [Context Link]