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September 23, 1988

The Process of Peer Review of Scientific Manuscripts

JAMA. 1988;260(12):1761-1768. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410120107038

Much has been said and written about the peer review process for scientific journals. A simple search of the MEDIS database reveals 435 articles that contain the term "peer review." The first International Congress on Peer Review in Biomedical Publication, sponsored by the American Medical Association and to be held in 1989 in Chicago,1 will delve into the effectiveness of this process extensively. But there is another side to the peer review process. The administration of a peer review file and its daily use for reviewing manuscripts is complicated.2 Management of such a large body of data has been made somewhat easier through computerization. Our peer reviewer file and manuscript processing procedures were converted from paper to electronics in 1988 through a difficult and tedious process. The file of nearly 6000 reviewer names, addresses, and relevant information is now available on a computer database.

When a manuscript arrives