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From Gastroenterology , Bethesda, Md. Ms Link is now with the Journal of Immunology , Bethesda, Md.
Context.— Reviewers increasingly are asked to review manuscripts from outside
their own country, but whether they are more likely to recommend acceptance
of such manuscripts is not known.
Objective.— To assess whether US reviewers or non-US reviewers evaluate manuscripts
differently, depending on whether the manuscripts are submitted from outside
the United States or from the United States.
Design and Setting.— A retrospective analysis of all original submissions received by Gastroenterology in 1995 and 1996. Reviewers ranked manuscripts
in 4 decision categories: accept, provisionally accept, reject with resubmission,
Main Outcome Measure.— Ranking of papers based on nationality of authors and reviewers.
Results.— The percentage of non-US manuscripts placed in each decision category
by US (n=2355) and non-US reviewers (n=1297) was nearly identical (P=.31). However, US reviewers recommended acceptance of papers submitted
by US authors more often than did non-US reviewers (P=.001).
Non-US reviewers ranked US papers slightly more favorably than non-US papers
(P=.09), while US reviewers ranked US papers much
more favorably (P=.001).
Conclusions.— Reviewers from the United States and outside the United States evaluate
non-US papers similarly and evaluate papers submitted by US authors more favorably,
with US reviewers having a significant preference for US papers.
Link AM. US and Non-US Submissions: An Analysis of Reviewer Bias. JAMA. 1998;280(3):246–247. doi:10.1001/jama.280.3.246
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