Peer review: Issues in physical medicine and rehabilitation

Amy K. Wagner, Michael L. Boninger, Charles Levy, Leighton Chan, David Gater, R. Lee Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Peer review, although the standard for evaluating scientific research, is not without flaws. Peer reviewers have been shown to be inconsistent and to miss major strengths and deficiencies in studies. Both reviewer and author biases, including conflicts of interest and positive outcome publication biases, are frequent topics of study and debate. Additional concerns have been raised regarding inappropriate authorship and adequate reporting of the ethical process involving human and animal experimentation. Despite these issues, a good peer review can provide positive feedback to authors and improve the quality of research reported in medical journals. This article reviews some issues and points of concern regarding the peer-review process, and it suggests guidelines for new (and established) reviewers in the area of physical medicine and rehabilitation. It also provides suggestions for editorial considerations and improvements in the peer-review process for physical medicine and rehabilitation research journals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-802
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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