Online survey of nursing journal peer reviewers: Indicators of quality in manuscripts

Molly C. Dougherty, Margaret C. Freda, Margaret H. Kearney, Judith Gedney Baggs, Marion Broome

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Nursing journal peer reviewers (N = 1,675) completed a 69-item online survey that assessed their views on manuscripts' contributions to nursing, priorities in writing reviews, use of journal impact factor, and other areas related to indicators of quality. They reported using contribution to knowledge or research evidence, topic of current interest, and newly emerging area as indicators of a manuscript's contribution to nursing. In writing their reviews, research rigor and clinical relevance of the manuscript were high priorities. Those familiar with the concept of impact factor were significantly more often not nurses; not United States residents; involved in research; and most often reviewed for journals that published only research or a scholarly mix of research, reviews, policy, and theory. When judging a paper's contribution, nursing journal peer reviewers weigh both research and clinical interests. Most reviewers do not use impact factors and place clinical considerations ahead of impact factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-521
Number of pages16
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • journal impact factor
  • nursing research
  • peer review
  • publishing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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