A worldwide assessment of medical journal editors' practices and needs - Results of a survey by the World Association of Medical Editors

Cynthia D. Good, Stephen T. Parente, Drummond Rennie, Suzanne W. Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To identify editors interested in participating in a global organisation and communication network of medical editors; to assess current use of the peer-review process; and to determine current computer capabilities, needs, and interests of medical journal editors around the world. Design. Mail survey of senior editors at 727 medical journals. Setting. Fifty-seven countries worldwide. Results. Two hundred and sixty-nine editors (37%) responded. Eighty-seven per cent of responding editors expressed interest in a global organisation of medical editors. Almost all editors (94%) reported using peer-review systems. Practices varied widely across journals, but in most cases were not highly correlated with the countries' level of development: 44% reported formal orientation for reviewers; 71% used specific instructions; 39% required reviewers to disclose conflicts of interest; 36% masked the identity of authors; and 42% graded reviews for quality. Seventy-eight per cent of editors reported using a computer in their work and 47% had Internet access; two-thirds of those without access expected to have Internet access within 18 months. Conclusions. There was strong interest among respondents in a global organisation for medical editors. Peer review was widely reported by medical journal editors throughout the world, although specific practices varied widely. Half of the responding editors reported having access to the Internet, making participation in a worldwide computer network of editors feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-401
Number of pages5
JournalSouth African Medical Journal
Volume89
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999

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