About Peer Review

D. Scot Malay, DPM, MSCE, FACFAS
Former Editor, The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery

Peer review is the crucial process that we use at the The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery (JFAS) to make decisions as to which manuscripts should be accepted for publication, rejected from further consideration, or recommended for further revision and then reconsideration. The process of peer review is both time-honored and effective, particularly as it pertains to the scientific literature.

It is the peer reviewer who, after initial editorial consideration, comments on the meaningfulness, and the potential interest, that a manuscript may have for our readers. Peer reviewers serve as the voice of our readership, and provide constructive criticism related to the scientific merit, as well as the overall interest, that a manuscript may convey once it is published. The peer reviewer, therefore, serves as an important critic of the “content matter” that is contained in a manuscript.

It is important to understand, too, that it is not the peer reviewer’s job to edit a manuscript in regard to issues related to grammar, syntax, punctuation, spelling, and other items related to formatting and style, since these duties are the responsibility of authors and the editors. Ultimately, it is the Editor who has the final responsibility for both the scientific content and the copy editing issues related to formatting the prose. Even though JFAS uses a group of Section Editors, consisting of individuals with a wide range of expertise and knowledge, much of our decisions are still based on the recommendations of the peer reviewers that are invited to comment on the merits of any given article.

If you are interested in serving as a peer reviewer for JFAS, I encourage you to go to jfas.org, and select Journal Information: Become a Reviewer link listed in the menu of options located on the left-hand side of the page. In this way, you can sign up to become a peer reviewer for JFAS, and provide our editors with useful information that will enable us to readily identify your areas of interest and contact information. At JFAS the entire process of manuscript submission and editing is carried out electronically, so it is important to include your email address when you sign up to be a peer reviewer.

The role that peer reviewers play in regard to the quality of a scientific journal cannot be over estimated. We are very proud and appreciative of the time and energy that our peer reviewers put forth on behalf of JFAS.