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FPIN Editorial Expectations


FPIN Editorial Process Philosophy Statement:  FPIN has a unique editorial process where we are committed to doing TWO things simultaneously.  First, we are dedicated to producing high-quality reviews answering the most important questions in primary care with the best available evidence.  Second, we are committed to promoting scholarship within family medicine by providing a meaningful educational process to learn the application of evidence-based medicine. 

 It is important to understand that this 5-level approach adds rigor and additional time to our workflow.  If authors have questions at any point, we encourage them to contact the FPIN staff to foster the most meaningful educational and publication experience possible.


1.Technical Check (Level 1). This is conducted by an Editorial Assistant (FPIN Staff). This screening ensures that every manuscript includes all required items listed in the HDA Technical Checklist. Manuscripts that have missing information will be sent back to the author team for revision.

(Level 1 Deadlines:  1 week for both the Editorial Assistant and the author team)


2. Peer Review (Level 2). FPIN peer reviews are conducted by a faculty member at another residency program.  This individual may or may not have expertise in the subject area.  They more than likely will have written 1+ HDAs and/or other publications within FPIN or elsewhere.  The peer reviewer answers 9 questions regarding the manuscript and can provide written feedback. The feedback received from peer reviewers is suggested and is not necessarily intended to be taken as a directive from the editorial team. Due to the busy schedules of practicing faculty clinicians, our peer review timeline is subject to wide variability. It can take up to 4 months for a manuscript to be peer-reviewed. This is due to the large volume of active HDAs in process (600+ at any given time). However, we are always looking for more dedicated peer reviewers. FPIN greatly values the contributions of every peer reviewer and its importance to the scientific community.

(Level 2 Deadlines:  None. After the peer review is complete, the manuscript automatically advances to the Deputy Editor.  The Corresponding Author will receive an email at this stage.   No revisions will be required for approximately 12-14 weeks after the peer review is complete.)


3. HDA Deputy Editor Review (Level 3). Every HDA manuscript will be assigned to a national HDA Deputy Editor (DE). DEs will work with authors to refine the manuscript and improve its readability. DEs will provide editorial comments using the Track Changes feature of Microsoft Word. Authors are expected to adhere to all editorial comments given by their DE. Authors can expect 2 to 3 rounds of this editorial review before a manuscript is moved up the chain. 

(Level 3 Deadlines:  Deputy Editors have 2 weeks to review & return edits and the author teams have 2 weeks to make revisions during each round.)


4. HDA Editor-in-Chief Review (Level 4). Manuscripts will be reviewed by the HDA Editor-in-Chief before it is submitted to a journal for publication. The EIC’s role is to ensure no edits were missed by the Deputy Editor during the editorial review process. Addtionally, the EIC can approach the manuscript with a fresh set of eyes that may notice areas needing further clarification for the readers.

(Level 4 Deadlines:  Editors have 4 weeks to review at this level. IF revisions are requested at this point, author teams have 2 weeks to turn them around.)


5. Journal Review (Level 5). The Editor-in-Chief and/or copyeditors will occasionally request revisions and/or have critical questions for the author teams at this point.

(Level 5 Deadlines:  The journal EIC and production teams will review the manuscripts 4 months after the HDA has advanced through level 4 of the editorial process.  Author teams will only have 48 hours to respond to journal queries to ensure timely publication.)


6. Publication.  We aim to work with author teams in hopes they can find a publication outlet for their manuscript.  Most (not all) HDAs will be published.  If they are selected by a journal (Evidence-Based Practice, The Journal of Family Practice, or American Family Physician), author teams can expect to have their manuscript published approximately 3 months after their manuscript has advanced through level 5 – though this is highly variable due to the different journals’ production schedules.  The total expected time to publish an HDA is 18 months if there are no due date extensions and if authors adhere to their deadlines (However, the manuscript should generally be approved within 11 months – the last 7 months has the manuscript sitting in a publication queue where there are generally only minor revisions requested, if any.)


 Want to know exactly when you can expect feedback, submit revisions, and finalize your HelpDesk Answer?  Try our HDA Timeline Projection Tool NOW


 Note:  It is important to understand that as your manuscript advances to the next level, the editor views it with a “fresh” set of eyes. They may or may not have reviewed the prior versions.  We believe this is a good thing as this allows each editor to view the manuscript as readers would view it. Things that are not clear to the second and subsequent editors would not be clear to readers. Therefore, editors later in the process may request additional information that earlier editors may not have requested. 

Family Physicians Inquiries Network

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