On Peer Review Purpose This letter briefly reviews ideas about the purpose and benefits of peer review and reaches some idealistic conclusions about the process. Method The author uses both literature review and meditation born of long experience. Results From a cynical perspective, peer review constitutes an adversarial process ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   June 01, 2016
On Peer Review
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jody Kreiman
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Disclosure: The author served as Editor for the Speech section of JSLHR from 2012 to 2015 and received nonsalary funds from ASHA in support of that effort.
    Disclosure: The author served as Editor for the Speech section of JSLHR from 2012 to 2015 and received nonsalary funds from ASHA in support of that effort.×
  • Correspondence to Jody Kreiman: jkreiman@ucla.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Speech / Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   June 01, 2016
On Peer Review
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 480-483. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0043
History: Received February 3, 2016 , Accepted March 1, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 480-483. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0043
History: Received February 3, 2016; Accepted March 1, 2016

Purpose This letter briefly reviews ideas about the purpose and benefits of peer review and reaches some idealistic conclusions about the process.

Method The author uses both literature review and meditation born of long experience.

Results From a cynical perspective, peer review constitutes an adversarial process featuring domination of the weak by the strong and exploitation of authors and reviewers by editors and publishers, resulting in suppression of new ideas, delayed publication of important research, and bad feelings ranging from confusion to fury. More optimistically, peer review can be viewed as a system in which reviewers and editors volunteer thousands of hours to work together with authors, to the end of furthering human knowledge.

Conclusion Editors and authors will encounter both peer-review cynics and idealists in their careers, but in the author's experience the second are far more prevalent. Reviewers and editors can help increase the positive benefits of peer review (and improve the culture of science) by viewing the system as one in which they work with authors on behalf of high-quality publications and better science. Authors can contribute by preparing papers carefully prior to submission and by interpreting reviewers' and editors' suggestions in this collegial spirit, however difficult this may be in some cases.

Acknowledgments
Preparation of this letter was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant DC01797, awarded to the University of California, Los Angeles. Thanks and gratitude are due to the Associate Editors who did so much of the heavy lifting during my tenure as Editor for Speech at JSLHR: Hans-Georg Bosshardt, Kate Bunton, Caryn Easterling, Bruce Gerratt, Ewa Jacewicz, Julie Liss, Ben Maassen, Amy Neel, Megha Sundara, and Scott Thomson, along with the guest Associate Editors who volunteered to handle single papers when special expertise was needed, and the scores of reviewers who evaluated hundreds of manuscripts. Finally, thanks to Bruce Gerratt, Lizzy Glennon, and Zhaoyan Zhang, who provided helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
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