The task of the Reader is twofold: 1) to determine if the article is appropriate for the Journal and 2) to provide the author(s) with constructive feedback to help them improve the quality of their manuscript. The Editors of Families, Systems and Health have found it helpful to provide the constructive feedback first and then to determine the manuscript’s appropriateness.) First and foremost, we want to help authors do their best.
Constructive feedback includes reading for theoretical accuracy, clarity and flow of writing, writing style, organization of the material, references in body of text are included in the reference section and vice versa, grammar and punctuation is correct, abstract includes the major points in the manuscript and that the formatting fits the Journal’s Author Guidelines. Because we want to be encouraging, we urge readers to point out the strengths of the manuscript and to avoid negative language and tone.
There will be Reader Teams consisting of a Lead Reader or Editor who will have a team of Readers. A manuscript will be assigned to a Lead Reader who will be responsible for guiding the manuscript from beginning to end. The Lead Reader will send a manuscript to two members of his/her team for review. The Readers will send the reviewed manuscript back to the Lead Reader.
Based on the experience of the Editors of the on-line Journal The Qualitative Report, Readers will be asked to make their comments, questions, recommendations, etc using the “track changes” mode of Word. This helps give the author(s) more precise and detailed feedback. As well, a reader may include a “cover sheet” with any additional feedback that they would like to give to the author(s).
The Lead Reader will keep in close contact with the Journal’s Editorial and Technical Assistants so that they can track the manuscript on their data base.
Manuscripts are to be treated as confidential information and not be copied or distributed. Readers may consult colleagues when deemed necessary, though please keep the name of the author(s) confidential.