The Process of Peer Review of Scientific Manuscripts

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

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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