Reviewers' Guide

How to Review for American Family Physician

Download sample reviews(15 page PDF)
Fill out the reviewer profile(1 page DOC)
View Resources for Reviewers(2 page PDF)

NOTE:  If you have a financial relationship with a drug or device maker relevant to the topic of the manuscript, please check with our editorial office at afpjournal@aafp.org before doing your review.  [Example: you are on the speakers’ bureau for a company that makes drugs for diabetes, and the manuscript is about diabetes].

We ask for your help in making this manuscript a current, high-quality presentation on the topic. 

  • Look for any errors of commission: are any of the facts incorrect?
  • Look for any errors of omission: is there important information missing?
  • Are there any new developments, references, or tables/figures that should be added?
  • Is the presentation adequately balanced?
  • You need not correct misspellings or grammar, unless you think it’s necessary to ensure clarity.

You will be asked to provide detailed comments to the authors.

  • Make these as specific as possible, rather than speaking in generalities.
  • Tell them what they can do to improve the presentation.
  • Comment on any weaknesses, but mention strengths of the paper as well.
  • If desired, you can provide separate comments to the editor (but do not repeat your comments to the authors).  For example, please say if you feel there is any inappropriate bias, or whether the manuscript does not seem authoritative.

We also ask that you rate key aspects of the manuscript on a rating scale in Editorial Manager(www.editorialmanager.com), our online peer review system.  We use these ratings to get a composite, semi-quantitative sense of the external reviews.

To give you an idea of what reviews for AFP look like, here is a set of five reviews(15 page PDF) on a manuscript on iron deficiency anemia (two from AFP medical editors, and three from external reviewers).  For the sake of completeness, we also include the author’s responses to the reviews, as outlined in the resubmission letter.  [The reviewers and author involved have given us permission to post these reviews and responses, which in AFP are done anonymously.]