Background: Though peer review is at the heart of scholarly publishing, peer review reports are not commonly investigated. We aimed to analyse the quality and structure of review reports submitted to the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine (IJPM). Methods: We systematically analysed the structure, tone, and quality of peer review reports of all original articles submitted to the journal between January 1, 2018 to May 15, 2020. Quality assessment was done using the 8-item Review Quality Instrument (RQI). Results: A total of 527 review reports from 291 original articles were analysed. More than two-thirds of review reports were provided as inline comments (n = 368, 69.8 %). Most of the review reports were not well-structured; only a few provided a summary (n = 64, 13.2 %) or divided the comments into major and minor ones (n = 12, 2.5 %). Nearly a quarter had negative wordings (n = 117, 24.1 %) and a minority had a frankly unprofessional tone (n = 43, 8.8 %). The global rating was “poor” (n = 266, 50.5 %) or “below average” (n = 203, 38.5 %) for most reports. Conclusion: Most of the peer reviews submitted to the IJPM were not structured and obtained low scores on the RQI domains. Concerted efforts are needed to improve the quality of peer reviews and to provide training for reviewers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health