Executive Editor’s message

JSHAP’s most wanted!

What is JSHAP’s “Most Wanted List” and more importantly, who is on this list?

Ok, so you are thinking that Terri is being really silly with her message this issue. Well, perhaps just a little, but not entirely. I would like to invite all of you to consider being on JSHAP’s “Most Wanted List,” and this is not just any ordinary list but “the list” of potential peer reviewers for manuscripts that are submitted to the journal. So, to answer the question “who is on JSHAP’s Most Wanted List?” – the answer is YOU! The journal has a list of many people who have reviewed in the past or who are potentially available to peer-review a manuscript. And we at the journal office are looking to see this list grow. How do you get on this list? It’s simple: you let us know that you are interested in being contacted as a potential peer reviewer and provide your area(s) of expertise and your contact information. But, to be fair, I will explain what is typically involved.

I have written messages about the peer-review process in the past, and in my opinion it is professionally rewarding to contribute to the body of scientific literature by acting as a peer reviewer. It does, however, involve a modest time commitment and comes without financial compensation. Sounds like a great deal doesn’t it (sarcasm!) But, please read on…

When a manuscript is submitted to the journal, peer reviewers are approached to inquire about their availability to conduct a review. A peer reviewer is selected on the basis of the topic of the manuscript and the reviewer’s complementary area of expertise. If we do not know who you are or your area(s) of expertise, we may never know you are interested or potentially available. Each manuscript is reviewed by a panel of reviewers (usually three people) and the opinions and comments from many reviewers are combined into a review package for the authors. Typically, the reviews strengthen a manuscript, and sometimes very minimal revisions are requested or necessary.

The time commitment required for a review can vary and usually depends on the length and complexity of the manuscript. But typically, the journal requires a reviewer to agree to return a review within 3 weeks of accepting a manuscript. This means, of course, that if you are asked to be a reviewer and the timeline doesn’t fit into your current work demands, you can decline the review, eg, you can say “no” to a review request. Once a manuscript has returned from the panel of reviewers then the lead reviewer and executive editor (myself) make recommendation(s) to the author(s) and put together the review package. For example, there may be major revisions requested or minor revisions. As a reviewer, you will likely be asked to look at a manuscript a second time if any substantial revisions have been requested. This would typically be 8 weeks later, and again we would ask if you could do the re-review in an approximate 3-week timeline.

The journal uses a blinded review model in which the authors are blinded to the reviewers. Some journals use an unblinded model, but JSHAP blinds authors to the identity of the reviewers. If you are inexperienced at conducting a peer-review, the journal staff can provide some guidance for first-timers.

This issue of JSHAP also has published a list of recent reviewers and I would like to extend my gratitude to these individuals for their contribution to the peer-reviewed literature as well as the success of the journal. Thank you!

If you would like to be on JSHAP’s “Most Wanted List” as a potential/available peer-reviewer, please use the link below and complete the short survey (5-10 minutes). Survey link https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3q6Wc4gJKegOGGh.

Terri O’Sullivan, DVM, PhD
Executive Editor