1. Gould, Kathleen Ahern PhD, RN

Article Content

Peer reviewers are the advisors to the editor and, in most cases, the content and process experts.1 -Patricia Yoder-Wise


The work of editing is invisible-akin to many jobs-only noticed when it is not done well. In truth, the work of editing is attributed to a more important group: the peer-review staff. Peer review is fundamental to the publication process. Although it is often a job that goes unrecognized, it would be impossible to sustain scholarly work without it.2


At DCCN, we are fortunate to add new talent to our peer-review staff every year. We continue to gain insights and ideas from their comments, suggestions, and direction. Moreover, we know that they learn from each other, and the authors they serve, as anonymous teams form to refine and revise each manuscript. Our staff has grown to include new-to-practice nurses, clinical experts in all areas of nursing, academic professors, pharmacists, respiratory care professionals, quality and safety experts, and health care administrators.


We care deeply about the review process because we know that good reviews can take an ordinary manuscript and create something unique or even transform an acceptable manuscript into an exceptional one. It is always inspiring to see the process evolve as relationships and ideas come together. In my tenure as editor, I have seen consistent improvement and growth as reviewers gain experience and confidence. As I view the process from the editor's desk, it is a symphony of personal expression, dedication, and continuous improvement. Richard Smith, former editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, may have said it best: "the most important question with peer review is not whether to abandon it, but how to improve it."3 Part of the improvement process is to celebrate and support our peer reviewers!


At DCCN, our authors are always grateful for feedback, both constructive and instructive. Often, suggestions and comments from a reviewer come from a fresh or unique perspective, represent a cultural or regional attitude, or simply validate an accurate and timely approach. Very often, our reviewers encourage authors to describe methodologies and results within a study in more detail and recommend how to transition the work into practice. Clearly, this approach helps good work become great work.


We know that our authors share our gratitude. A good writer realizes that writing is hard work, and it requires many renditions. It is like kneading dough-often a repetitive yet molding process-culminating in a great product!


Without reservation, we know our peer reviewers make our work stronger and better.



Kathleen Ahern Gould, PhD, RN




Dimensions of Critical


Care Nursing




1. Yoder-Wise P. On reviewing well. Nurse Author Newsl. 2013; 23(2): 3. [Context Link]


2. Goldbeck-Wood S. What makes a good reviewer of manuscripts? BMJ. 1998; 316(7125): 86. [Context Link]


3. Smith R. Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals. J R Soc Med. 2006; 99(4): 178-182. [Context Link]