Editors’ perspectives on enhancing manuscript quality and editorial decisions through peer review and reviewer development

Kristin K Janke, Andrew S. Bzowyckyj, Andrew P. Traynor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives. To identify peer reviewer and peer review characteristics that enhance manuscript quality and editorial decisions, and to identify valuable elements of peer reviewer training programs. Methods. A three-school, 15-year review of pharmacy practice and pharmacy administration faculty’s publications was conducted to identify high-publication volume journals for inclusion. Editors-in-chief identified all editors managing manuscripts for participation. A three-round modified Delphi process was used. Rounds advanced from open-ended questions regarding actions and attributes of good reviewers to consensus-seeking and clarifying questions related to quality, importance, value, and priority. Results. Nineteen editors representing eight pharmacy journals participated. Three characteristics of reviews were rated required or helpful in enhancing manuscript quality by all respondents: includes a critical analysis of the manuscript (88% required, 12% helpful), includes feedback that contains both strengths and areas of improvement (53% required, 47% helpful), and speaks to the manuscript’s utility in the literature (41% required, 59% helpful). Hands-on experience with review activities (88%) and exposure to good and bad reviews (88%) were identified as very valuable to peer reviewer development. Conclusion. Reviewers, individuals involved in faculty development, and journals should work to assist new reviewers in defining focused areas of expertise, building knowledge in these areas, and developing critical analysis skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. All rights reserved.


  • Faculty development
  • Manuscript
  • Peer review
  • Quality
  • Training programs

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