Hot Topics: Peer-Reviewed Blog Introduces New Medical Researchers to Publishing

Coached Peer Review: Developing the Next Generation of Authors

Sidalak D, Purdy E, Luckett-Gatopoulos S, Murray H, Thoma B, Chan TM. Coached peer review: Developing the next generation of authors. Academic Medicine. 2017;92(2):201-204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000001224.

Problem
Publishing in academic journals is challenging for learners. Those who pass the initial stages of internal review by an editor often find the anonymous peer review process harsh. Academic blogs offer alternate avenues for publishing medical education material. Many blogs, however, lack a peer review process, which some consumers argue compromises the quality of materials published.

Approach
CanadiEM (formerly BoringEM) is an academic educational emergency medicine blog dedicated to publishing high-quality materials produced by learners (i.e., residents and medical students). The editorial team has designed and implemented a collaborative “coached peer review” process that comprises an open exchange among the learner–author, editors, and reviewers. The goal of this process is to facilitate the publication of high-quality academic materials by learner–authors while providing focused feedback to help them develop academic writing skills.

Outcomes
The authors of this Innovation Report surveyed (February–June 2015) their blog’s learner–authors and external expert “staff” reviewers who had participated in coached peer review for their reactions to the process. The survey results revealed that participants viewed the process positively compared with both traditional journal peer review and academic blog publication processes. Participants found the process friendly, easy, efficient, and transparent. Learner–authors also reported increased confidence in their published material. These outcomes met the goals of coached peer review.

Next Steps
CanadiEM aims to inspire continued participation in, exposure to, and high quality production of academic writing by promoting the adoption of coached peer review for online educational resources produced by learners.

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