Even though AFP publishes clinical reviews rather than primary research, AFP has long upheld its editorial standards through a rigorous peer-review process similar to those of research journals. Editor Jay Siwek, M.D., and his assistant, Taiya Olayinka, oversee the peer-review process, coordinated at AFP’s Washington, D.C., editorial office, located at Georgetown University Medical Center. Each clinical review article and patient information handout published in AFP has been scrutinized by a panel of reviewers containing at least one family physician representative. Over the span of a year, AFP draws from the talents of hundreds of reviewers who donate their time and efforts to ensure the quality of CME published in AFP. The names of physicians who reviewed manuscripts and patient information for AFP in 2004, along with our thanks, are published on page 281.
Here is how the peer-review process works at AFP: all manuscripts submitted to AFP undergo an initial review by Dr. Siwek, who determines whether the manuscript merits acceptance into the peer-review process. The reviewers perform a methodical evaluation of the manuscript and report the results on an assessment form, along with detailed commentaries. Reviews are double-blinded. A thorough review may require considerable research and effort. The reviewers’ evaluation forms and detailed commentaries are returned to Dr. Siwek, who determines whether the manuscript merits further consideration. If so, the manuscript and reviews are submitted to one of AFP’s medical editors for further critique. The medical editors assimilate feedback and compose a letter outlining the revisions required for acceptance of the manuscript.
Once the author receives comments from the reviewer, she or he has two to three months to carry out revisions before resubmission. Revisions are then reevaluated by the medical editor and returned to Dr. Siwek, who makes a final determination of whether the manuscript is now complete and ready to enter the publication process.
Since the peer-review process represents a substantial investment of time on the part of physician volunteers, the AAFP has decided that, beginning this year, it will award Prescribed credit to reviewers who complete manuscript reviews, and the AMA will be offering Category 1 credit. AAFP members will be able to report up to 2 Prescribed credits per review, with a maximum of 10 credits from manuscript reviewing in a given year. Once the program is fully in place, members will be able to report their credit directly through the AAFP Web site.
We are happy to be able to offer our genuine thanks to the reviewers who served us last year and in previous years, and now we are even happier that future reviewers can be rewarded with CME credit for their efforts.