Editorials

What makes a good reviewer of manuscripts?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7125.86 (Published 10 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:86

The BMJ invites you to join its peer review process

  1. Sandra Goldbeck-Wood, Assistant editor
  1. BMJ

    According to Drummond Rennie, deputy editor of JAMA, peer review exists to keep egg off authors' faces. Others might say it exists to shield busy readers from wasting their time reading inferior papers or to protect patients from the damaging effects of unreliable research. All may be right, although little evidence exists on how well peer review achieves any of these objectives. One thing we do know is that it helps editors to make difficult decisions about which manuscripts to publish and in what form. Here at the BMJ we are keen to recruit good new reviewers to add to the pool of over of 4000 who currently advise us. In some newer research subjects such as health economics and qualitative research our need for more advisors is particularly great. So what makes a good reviewer, and might you be that person?

    Good reviewing requires idealism. It is often a thankless task which takes time and effort to do …

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