1. Section Editor(s): Simpson, Kathleen Rice PhD, RNC, CNS-BC, FAAN

Article Content

Some of the most valuable people involved in the process of developing a manuscript from submission to publication are the journal reviewers. MCN is fortunate to have many wonderful reviewers who are generous with their time and expertise to help nurse authors improve the quality of their manuscript. Most MCN reviewers are experts in their field who are quite busy. Based on reviewer feedback, generally, they spend an hour or more on the process, so authors should really appreciate the time that a reviewer has invested in helping them. Rarely, if ever, is a manuscript accepted without revisions. As an editor, I have not received a manuscript that did not need at least minor modifications. As an author, I certainly have not had this experience. Reviewer comments and suggestions nearly always make the manuscript better. Clarity, organization, additional details, and content enhancements are the more common types of advice given by reviewers. Sometimes authors know their topic so well, they don't realize that some aspects need further explanation. Reviewers often provide essential tips on missing content, for example, new or classic references that have been omitted, but are critical to the manuscript. Many MCN reviewers are able to offer both clinical and research methods expertise. Many MCN reviewers are based in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Insight from this setting allows them to provide the necessary perspective of clinical relevance and practicality.


MCN reviewers are asked to make a commitment to review five to six manuscripts per year. This number is dependent on the number of manuscripts submitted that fall within reviewers' expertise and the number of reviewers in each category of expertise. For example, MCN has few reviewers with expertise on genetics and many more reviewers who are experts on breastfeeding. Editing, grammar, style, and formatting suggestions are not required from reviewers. These things are the responsibility of the editor and copyeditors. Kind, professional, and helpful comments about the manuscript are ideal and expected. Reviewers are asked to review the manuscript in a timely manner, at least within 30 days.


Although we have a robust MCN reviewer group, we could always use more. I invite MCN readers and authors to consider becoming a reviewer. Charon Pierson, a nursing journal editor and well-known expert on publication, offers a useful guide to being a nursing journal reviewer (Pierson, 2015) that is available at no charge on the site listed in the reference. If you are interested in being a reviewer, I suggest taking a look at this resource. MCN has a guide for reviewers that is available for anyone who would like to give journal reviewing a try. New reviewers participate in several reviews and get feedback from the editor before becoming an official reviewer. I encourage anyone to contact me via email with questions about becoming a reviewer. Being a reviewer can be fun and is a great opportunity to participate in a meaningful way to the scholarly process of contributing to the nursing literature. I look forward to hearing from many of you.




Pierson C. A. (2015). Reviewing journal manuscripts. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell. Retrieved from[Context Link]