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Critical appraisal, reviewing and synthetizing the injury prevention and control literature: time to revisit peer-reviewing and systematic reviews?
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  • Published on:
    Improving the Peer Review Process
    • David C Schwebel, University Professor of Psychology & Associate Vice President for Research Facilities and Infrastructure University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Thanks to Professor Salmi for a thoughtful and insightful commentary spanning several topics. I read all with interest but respond in particular to the challenge of peer review. Weekly, I accept and conduct about one peer review for a journal, almost exclusively the five journals for which I serve on the Editorial Board (including Injury Prevention). In 2023, I will complete about 60 manuscript reviews. Also weekly, I turn away at least 5 other review requests, often recommending colleagues and former students as alternative reviewers. I have no idea if my patterns are typical, but I do know that the requests sometimes overwhelm me. I regret declining so many invitations, recognizing the value of peer review for quality science as well as the struggles of journal editors to find qualified reviewers, but I simply cannot fit more into my busy schedule.

    Assuming my behavior is at least somewhat typical, what is our solution? I wish I had a magic formula.. Professor Salmi offers several ideas, all of which I support (and yes, compensation for reviewing would be terrific, but I also recognize journal budgets are tight). I have a few other ideas to offer, most of which are already practiced to some extent:

    - Pass reviews from one journal to another. It is not unusual for me to be asked to review a manuscript that I have already reviewed for a different journal, the first of which chose to reject it. I know some journal families are passing reviews from one journal...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.