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I found myself reacting to the Editor's Page describing the characteristics of an excellent manuscript peer review in a recent issue of the Journal(1)with great surprise—surprise that these characteristics had not previously been so carefully considered and clearly communicated.
Dr. DeMaria states that “an excellent review is one that is objective and constructive, one that avoids antagonism and points out areas in which the article can be improved.” I would suggest that this might be rephrased as, “One should write reviews one would be happy to receive.” Far too many reviews are caustic and derisive. They serve the medical literature poorly and can be especially destructive to young researchers. It is not too much to expect that a review be as dispassionately scientific as the work that is being reviewed. The suggestions made by the editors of JACCdeserve widespread adoption.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation