1. Dougherty, Molly (Mickey) C. Editor

Article Content

The quality of a scientific journal depends on the dedication and abilities of its peer reviewers. Nursing Research, like most journals, does not compensate reviewers. Their contribution is an essential service to the discipline, but their work is anonymous within the peer review process. Nursing Research recognizes reviewers' contribution by publication of their names annually (Nursing Research, 50, 104). The review panel for Nursing Research includes 297 persons who have published their own research and provided evidence of their expertise in specified areas. Prior to joining the panel, each reviewer completed a review and received specific feedback from the Editor.


To encourage their efforts and engage them in the process of editing Nursing Research, we share information with the review panel. The reviewers receive the reviews and the Editor's letter to the author on each manuscript he or she reviews. The reviewer can see how others assessed the manuscript and the ultimate decision on it. An individualized report sent by e-mail in February detailed the reviews completed in 2000. The report contained a summary of editorial activities for the year, and for each manuscript reviewed: the manuscript title and number; dates related to the review; and number of days the manuscript was in review. The software that supports this report provided other information, too.


The contributions of Nursing Research reviewers in 2000 were most impressive-196 reviewers completed one or more reviews. On average, reviewers completed two reviews, but one reviewer completed six and three others completed five. The number of reviews completed depended on the reviewer's areas of expertise and availability. The first review of manuscripts took 32.5 days on average. A large proportion of our reviewers use e-mail to receive manuscripts and submit their comments. E-mail review is time-efficient and has been a benefit to all. Most reviewers provided detailed comments and frequently noted references that helped authors strengthen their manuscripts. Intermittently, we called on reviewers for additional services. At authors' requests, reviewers provided clarification of their comments (coordinated through the Editor's office). Reviewers responded to our urgent requests for a quick response and to specific questions on manuscripts.


This is an impressive body of work by a talented collective of professionals widely scattered throughout the United States and internationally. Many thanks to each of them for providing an essential service to the discipline and supporting the quality of Nursing Research.