Peer Review Orientation – Periodicals (Journals and Newsletters)

This orientation explains the peer review options available in order to register a periodical for ASHA CEUS.

What peer review information is needed to register a periodical (journal or newsletter) for ASHA CEUs?

That depends. You can either use a Standing Editorial Review Board (ERB) or have each issue reviewed by two peer reviewers. Depending on your choice, different material and time lines will apply to your course registration.

What is the difference between an ERB and peer reviewers?

An ERB is a group of at least two members charged with:

  • reviewing the clinical content of manuscripts submitted for publication
  • evaluating their appropriateness for publication
  • suggesting revisions that would strengthen them

The product (articles and learning assessment) is initially viewed by an editor and then given to the members of the ERB for reading. Members of the ERB possess expertise in the subject matter and knowledge of acceptable content. ERB members make comments, put forth fair criticisms, and suggest appropriate changes needed in the product they examine. The editor then works with the article author(s) to address the ERB's comments.

Peer reviewers perform essentially the same function but are recruited for each product individually. Typically the product is initially viewed by the editor and/or division coordinator and CE Administrator and then given to the outside peer reviewers for comment.

Whether I choose to either use an ERB or have separate peer reviewers, is their role the same?

Yes. The role of the ERB or peer reviewers is the same: The purpose of the peer review is to offer the Provider feedback to improve the materials before publication and validate that the content of the materials is accurate, current, understandable by the learner, and delivered in the appropriate format.

What qualifications should the ERB or peer reviewers have?

ERB members or peer reviewers must:

  • be speech-language pathologists, audiologists or speech/language/hearing scientists
  • have expertise in the content area (typically demonstrated through significant clinical practice, research, presentations, and/or consultations in the content area)

Providers should avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest in choosing peer reviewers or ERB members. Conflict of interest refers to a situation when a professional has competing professional or personal obligations, personal interest, or financial interests that would make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties fairly.

Can the CE Administrator of the publishing organization or editor of the periodical (journal or newsletter) be a peer reviewer or member of the ERB?

No. Anyone with a real or perceived conflict of interest cannot be a peer reviewer or member of the ERB. If you have questions about whether a peer reviewer or candidate for the ERB has a real or perceived conflict of interest, please contact your provider manager.

If an ERB exists for the periodical, how do I submit my periodical (journal or newsletter) for registration?

If your journal or newsletter has an ERB, register courses in the following manner:

  • Submit annually a current list of the members of the ERB and resubmit the list when the membership of the ERB changes.
  • Provide the date that the ERB accepted all the articles in the issue for publication. This date is the product's peer review start date.
  • Submit:
  • File the course and all required self-study materials a minimum of 15 days before the start date of the journal self-study.

What is included in the word count?

When calculating the word count to determine the ASHA CEU amount, it is appropriate to include:

  • titles of articles
  • name of authors
  • abstracts
  • text of articles
  • text related to charts, graphs, etc.
  • references (if they are part of the learning content)

Examples of items that should not be included in the word count are:

  • general content unrelated to learning outcomes, such as "From the Coordinator" columns
  • promotional information or advertisements for upcoming events
  • committee meeting reports

Should the learner assessment questions be included in the word count? It depends on your initial pilot study. Did your pilot study separate out reading time and learner assessment time (for example, the reading time average was 157.3 words per minute and the learner assessment average was .31 questions per minute)? If so, the reading of the learner assessment questions is already accounted for and should not be included again in the word count.

If peer reviewers are used for each periodical, how do I submit my periodicals (journals or newsletters) for registration?

If your journal or newsletter has peer reviewers, register courses in the following manner:

  • Submit:
  • File the Activity Registration Form all required self-study materials a minimum of 30 days before the start date of the self-study.
  • After all required self-study materials are submitted, please allow 1 month for the Continuing Education Board (CEB) to review the self-study materials and respond to you regarding its status.
  • Once the CEB has notified you in writing of the acceptance of your course registration, you may begin to advertise the availability of ASHA CEUs.

More details about the peer review process can be found in the Continuing Education Board Manual. Contact your provider manager if you have questions or require more information.

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