Helpful Considerations when thinking about Peer Review
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Happy holidays to everyone!! It is rare that I solicit feedback on matters of research and/or scholarly writing from you all. In fact, this will be a first. To engage in a professional dialogue that hopefully will stimulate our members to critically think outside of their comfort box, I present this 2 page article for your review on the topic of peer review. It is taken from a recent publication of Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Most of you all know my biased opinion on the definition of an APRN to include being a clinical expert, but the expectations as well as the bar of truly executing the APRN role also now includes being a political advocate, researcher, teacher, mentor, leader, and yes, scholarly writer. These elements are what separate us from our undergraduate pinnings. They define the "advanced" in APRN!
I truly appreciate the bioethicists' philosophy that if the APRN is a published author, and has benefitted from peer review, that APRN has a professional as well as ethical obligation to review for others. In fact, Wendler and Miller (2014) further state that being part of any system- healthcare or other, that has brought the individual rewards or benefits- yet that individual chooses not to actively contributing through participation and involvement equates to the equivalent of "milking the system" and getting a "free ride" from the system that has brought one prosperity.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Should the current process of peer review for acceptance of one's scholarly writing be changed? Do you feel the process is too stringent and deters other APRNs from engaging in scholarly writing due to rigorous criteria? Would diluting the peer review process lead to a lower quality of writing from the APRN community? Should our professional journals have an open peer review process that is more transparent and have a quicker turnaround time in decision for acceptance? Should peer review for scholarly writing abandon its double-blind approach it has held on to for so many years and adopt a new approach which would allow the author to know the identity of the reviewer? Would knowing the reviewer of X Nursing Journal increase your likelihood of submitting your scholarly writing for publication consideration? Lastly, if you could change anything about the peer review process by using your "magic wand of change," what would you change, if anything in that peer review process for publication consideration?
Your participation in this dialogue of proposed questions will be most interesting to observe. I encourage you to express your opinion on this matter!
James F. Lawrence, Ph.D. APRN BC CPS CHPN FAANPP
State UAPRN President