Reviewing is rewarding!: Introducing our Scientific Review Board and continuing education credits for reviewers

Lisa A. Fortier
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 DVM, PhD, DACVS
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Lisa A. Fortier DVM, PhD, DACVS

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 261, 1; 10.2460/javma.261.1.7

Dear members and readers,

Upholding the scientific quality and credibility of our 2 journals, AJVR and JAVMA, lies very much in the hands of the volunteer peer reviewers. They play a pivotal role in validating scientific research and in improving the quality of published papers. Peer review has enjoyed serious longevity since it was first employed over 3 centuries ago by the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. They published their first issue on March 6, 1665, so peer review is definitely here to stay!

Reviewing for any journal is a labor of love—reviewers are unpaid, but deeply appreciated. In the January issues of JAVMA and AJVR, we print the names of our reviewers in recognition of and gratitude for their efforts. We invite reviewers from private practice, academia, industry, and government to join our team.

Our reviewers provide their critiques of the scientific findings in a manuscript in the shortest possible time. At JAVMA and AJVR, we have managed to reduce time from submission to first decision based on the reviewer’s comments to less than 3 weeks. That is a real service to authors, who need to know as quickly as possible if their papers will be accepted by the journal they chose for submission.

We are getting significant help from our colleges of veterinary medicine. Here’s what Dr. Bonnie Rush, Dean of Kansas State University, has to say: “K-State appreciates the commitment of JAVMA/AJVR to dramatically improve time to publication. We recognize peer review is an important component of manuscript turnaround time. We have incentivized K-State faculty to serve as prompt peer reviewers for the journals of our professional association.”

I would love other veterinary colleges to join in! Just email me at lfortier@avma.org to find out more about how promoting the importance of peer review can be a real added value to your program.

We’ve been developing initiatives to reward JAVMA and AJVR reviewers. First, we’ve developed our Scientific Review Board—an elite group of our top reviewers, who are committed to reviewing up to 6 manuscripts per year and now number over 50. Starting this month, they are getting special billing on the mastheads of the journals and can include “Scientific Review Board Member” on their CV—definitely a plus.

We are also introducing continuing education (CE) credits for the Scientific Review Board members and for anyone who reviews for JAVMA or AJVR. Reviewers are eligible for 2 CE credit hours for reviewing a full-length manuscript (eg, Original Research, Narrative Review, or Currents in One Health article) for either journal and 1 credit hour for reviewing a Clinical Challenge article (eg, What Is Your Diagnosis? or Pathology in Practice article). Please note that reviews should be thoughtful, detailed, and turned in on time to receive the CE credit. You can learn more in our Reviewer Center (https://avmajournals.avma.org/page/CE-Review). AJVR and JAVMA are the only veterinary journals that offer CE for reviewers, so if you want to beef up your CE credits, consider signing on to review for AJVR and/or JAVMA. Just contact our Editorial Manager, Karen Dodson, at kdodson@avma.org, to join our peer reviewer database in the ScholarOne system. We will train you and mentor you in this important contribution to our profession.

I still actively review for a number of orthopedic surgery and veterinary journals, and, from my experience, the best part about signing on to be a reviewer is that jump start you get by seeing a glimpse of the latest research findings before anyone else does. That is a real perk, especially when you’re faced with the kinds of complex new challenges you see daily in your research and practices.

I’m hoping you’ll join us in 2023 and thank you for your support of AJVR and JAVMA!

Respectfully,

Dr. Lisa A. Fortier

Editor-in-Chief, JAVMA and AJVR

Division Director of Publications, AVMA

lfortier@avma.org

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