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Editorial Reviewers: What Is Their Function?

Alfred Soffer, MD, FCCP
Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(10):1867. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350100029008.
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Agroup of editors and authors were enjoying a midnight snack recently. The repast followed an evening of dialogue among authors, editors, and readers in a symposium presented by the Council of Biology Editors. An author turned to the editor of a leading medical periodical and said, "I hope this isn't sour grapes, but a recent manuscript of mine was rejected by your editorial board. I received only a sentence or two indicating that the paper was not appropriate for your periodical. I wrote back to suggest that I would appreciate very much seeing more detailed comments of reviewers if these were available. You responded that the comments of out-of-office consultants were primarily for the use of the editorial board and only secondarily for perusal by the authors. Therefore, you chose not to return to me the analysis of your referees. I believe that this was less than helpful to me."


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