Peer review is an important mechanism for advancing knowledge in a manner deemed as acceptable by the research community. It can also serve the function of providing guidance to an author(s) to improve the likelihood that manuscripts will be accepted in peer reviewed journals. There is, however, little assistance for new or existing reviewers of journals beyond the guidelines for reviewers that some journals provide. Moreover, reviewers seldom, if ever, receive feedback on their reviews that might help them to provide higher quality reviews in the future. In this paper, we provide specific recommendations for drafting quality and constructive peer reviews of manuscripts. While we point to the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education as an example, our focus is on encouraging quality reviews across all journals in our field. We base our recommendations on empirical reports, recommendations of editors that have been published in the research literature, and our own experiences as reviewers. Examples of recommended and not recommended review elements are also provided.
Ward is with the Human Sciences Dept., The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Graber is with the Kinesiology and Community Health Dept., University of Illinois, Urbana, IL. van der Mars is with the Dept. of Secondary & Physical Education, Arizona State-Polytechnic Campus, Mesa, AZ.