July 13, 1994

Peer Review in Journals Indexed in Index Medicus

Author Affiliations

From Library Operations, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1994;272(2):156-158. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520020082024

Objective.  —To determine whether peer review policies are published in English-language journals indexed in Index Medicus and, secondarily, to obtain information on the peer review practices of such journals.

Design.  —Examined one issue of a sample of all journal titles written in English and indexed in Index Medicus, and all indexed English-language journals in four subject fields. A questionnaire was sent to the editors of journals in the subject fields requesting information on their peer review practices.

Setting.  —Journals received at the National Library of Medicine.

Participants.  —Editors of journals in four subject fields.

Main Outcome Measure.  —Existence of a printed statement of the peer review process for manuscripts.

Results.  —Although the editors queried in the four subject fields indicated that overall, 56% to 65% of the articles were peer reviewed, clear statements about their peer review practices were not found in half of their journals or in the overall sample.

Conclusions.  —Editors should publish clear statements of the peer review process followed for each type of article published in their journals.(JAMA. 1994;272:156-158)