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Neuroendocrinology Letters Vol. 20 No. 5 Contents
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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology. Guest Editorials.
ISSN 0172–780X Copyright © 1999 Neuroendocrinology Letters

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NEL VOL. 20  No. 5
GUEST EDITORIALS
1999; 20:256–260
Full text pdf (106kb)
Peer review and editorial decision-making
by Louise Howard and Greg Wilkinson

Abstract
Introduction. This paper describes and analyses the editor’s decision-making process at the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP), and investigates the association between reviewers’ assessments and editorial decisions.
Method. Four hundred consecutive manuscripts submitted over a six-month period to the BJP were examined prospectively for assessors’ comments and editorial decisions on acceptance or rejection. Interrater reliability of assessments was calculated and a logistic regression analysis investigated the effect of the rank allocated by’assessors and the comprehensiveness of the assessments on the editor’s decision.
Results. The editor sent 248/400 (62%) manuscripts to assessors for peer review. Kappa for reliability of assessors’ rankings was 0.1 indicating poor interrater reliability. Assessors agreed best on whether to reject a paper. A ranking of five (indicating rejection) had the greatest association with editor’s rejection (P < 0.001, odds ratio 0.079), and the mean ranking of assessments was also significantly associated with editorial acceptance or rejection (P=0.004, odds ratio 0.24).
Conclusion. Assessors and editors tend to agree on what is clearly not acceptable for publication but there is less agreement on what is suitable.
Declaration of interest. The second author is Editor of the BJP.

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Copyright © Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999
All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or ortherwise, without prior written permission from the Editor-in-Chief.