Article Text

PDF

Peer review
  1. T Jefferson
  1. Health Reviews Ltd, Via Adige 28a Roma, Italy; toj1aol.com

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    This short glossary covers some terms used in the peer review process.

    AUTHORS’ EDITOR

    A professional writer/editor usually employed by the authors’ institution to help prepare publications and grant applications. More common in the US than in Europe.

    CONSORT

    A set of guidelines for reporting the results of randomised controlled trials.

    CORRESPONDING AUTHOR

    The author whose full contact details appear on a publication and who is the point of contact with the journal for handling reviewers’ comments, proofs, etc.

    EDITOR

    The person in overall charge who makes final decisions about acceptance, policy, etc. Larger journals may employ several editors who handle papers and also technical editors (or sub-editors).

    HANGING COMMITTEE

    The BMJ editorial board (named after a committee that decided which paintings should hang in an exhibition)

    HOUSE STYLE

    Style imposed by a journal on anything to be published. It will include things such as the typeface of headings, the format of references, the type of abstract used, conventions for abbreviations, etc.

    HTML

    HyperText Mark-up Language: a computer code used to create electronic journals and web pages

    ICMJE

    International Committee of Medical Journal Editors—a group of journal editors who prepared the Uniform Requirements for Submissions to Biomedical Journals and who issue occasional statements about aspects of publication such as authorship and conflicting interests. Also known as the Vancouver Group.

    MICRO-EDITING

    Making changes to grammar, spelling, etc, without changing the overall structure of a piece of writing

    PAGE PROOFS

    Proofs in the form that the final pages will appear (also known as galley proofs).

    PAY JOURNAL

    A journal that charges a fee for publication, either in the form of a page charge or a requirement to buy a certain number of reprints.

    PEER REVIEW

    The process by which submissions to a journal (editorial peer review) or grant giving body (grant application peer review) are assessed critically by the authors’ peers, namely subject matter experts, prior to a decision being taken.

    POST-PUBLICATIONS PEER REVIEW

    The process by which articles published in a journal are commented on critically by the authors’ peers, namely subject matter experts. This form of peer review can take the form of letters to editor or formal comments (as in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews).

    MANUSCRIPT

    A hand written document, but often used to refer to any unpublished submission. More correctly these are usually referred to as typescripts.

    MASKING

    The process of removing the authors’ details from a paper before it is sent to reviewers and of removing the reviewers’ identity from any comments sent to authors. The opposite of open review. Sometimes called blinding.

    OPEN REVIEW

    Peer review in which the author knows the identity of the reviewer and vice versa.

    REVIEWER

    Somebody who assesses work for scientific content and presentation and offers opinions about the originality, usefulness, ethical and methodological soundness, and validity of the study and the accuracy and clarity of the reporting. Also known as a Referee.

    SUB-EDITOR OR TECHNICAL EDITOR

    Somebody who puts accepted papers into the journal’s house style, edits the language, and checks for completeness and consistency.

    FURTHER READING

    View Abstract

    Footnotes

    • Conflicts of interest: Tom Jefferson co-edited the book “Peer review in health sciences” and co-authored the book “How to survive peer review” and the Christmas board game “Get Peered”.

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Linked Articles

    • In this issue
      C Alvarez-Dardet J R Ashton