The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees that criminal defendants can receive a jury trial. The idea that guilt or innocence is decided by a small group of people who share similar traits and experiences to the accused is an important tenet of democracy. Peer review of academic manuscripts follows a similar line of reasoning. The worth, accuracy, and relevance of a paper should be judged not only by academic experts (editors and editorial boards) but also by those who will use the information in practice.
FPM strives to educate readers about advancements in patient care, practice improvement, and physician work life. To judge whether submitted manuscripts serve our readers well, we depend on family physicians and other clinicians who are integrally involved in all three of these topic areas. Will you consider volunteering to join our peer review panel and share your expertise with our editorial team? We need reviewers who are in practice and actively seeing patients to ensure that content resonates with their experiences. We need reviewers who are busy clinicians and can judge whether manuscripts outline recommendations that can truly work in practice. We need reviewers who are experiencing feelings of burnout to review papers focused on provider satisfaction.
There are benefits to being a peer reviewer. You can earn CME credits for reviewing a manuscript. The AAFP allows you to earn up to 100 prescribed credits per three-year cycle for scholarly activities, which includes giving presentations, writing papers, and reviewing papers. The process of peer review provides new knowledge and the opportunity to view a topic from a different perspective. Being a peer reviewer also improves the ability to analyze content, evaluate writing, synthesize material, and become a more effective writer. It can be a launching pad for authoring a paper of one's own. Finally, peer review is evidence of scholarly work and can be included on your CV.
Each FPM manuscript selected for peer review is evaluated by at least four reviewers. Most reviewers are asked to read and evaluate two to four papers per year. The editorial team values a diverse group of reviewers who provide a variety of feedback in response to questions about the content, its readability and applicability to practice, and how to strengthen it. Please join us in helping make FPM and the care of patients even better. For more information, visit https://www.aafp.org/journals/fpm/about/peer-review.html. Thank you for considering this opportunity.