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Reviewer FAQ
Revised: 20 October 2013

Questions

Review Process
What is topic format and how is it different from chapter format?
What is a 'test topic'?
I don't like making changes to a word document; is there another way for me to review?
Can I review an entire chapter rather than just a section?
I'd like to review a topic that is not currently available on the Chapters in Review page; what should I do?
Can I move topics into a different section of the chapter / restructure the chapter?
What is your current review process?

Timetable
How much time should I expect to spend on each topic?
When will my reviews be posted on the site?
How much time do I have to review a topic?
I need more time; can I have an extension?
How long should I expect the entire review process to take, from start to finish?

Updating a Topic
What are some good sources for adding images and references?
How much do I need to add to each topic?
Am I allowed to write a topic that replaces what is currently on the site rather than adding to what is already there?
What is an example of a topic that was reviewed well? I'd like to see what you're looking for.
One of the topics I'm reviewing is already in a different chapter. Does it need to be reviewed twice?
Do you have any tips on how to successfully review a topic?
The topic I'm reviewing is a very rare entity and I'm having a hard time finding information. Is it ok if I don't include as much?
I'd like to add some of my own images to a topic. How can I do that?

Miscellaneous
I'm still a Resident; can I review?
After completing the 'test topic' I was not selected as a reviewer; can I have another chance?
How much / when / how will I be paid?
What is the Editorial Board and what does it mean if there is an Editor listed on my topics?
What recognition do I get as a reviewer?


Answers

Review Process

What is topic format and how is it different from chapter format?
Topic format is our newest way of organizing topics. It involves one topic per page that is organized into several different sections and includes thumbnails for images. Chapter format is how we used to organize chapters, with every topic on one page and without clearly defined sections or thumbnails. We are transitioning out of chapter format and into topic format and have converted 85% of our online textbook. Reviewers are now expected to review and organize topics as they will appear in topic format. To see the sections used in topic format, please view our Instructions for Reviewers page under 'Order of Sections'.

What is a 'test topic'?
A 'test topic' is our way to find out if a pathologist would be a good fit as a reviewer for our site. It is now given to all prospective reviewers when they request to review a section. The 'test topic' is one topic from the requested section; think of it as an interview. Being successful as a reviewer requires more than a strong pathology background, therefore we use a 'test topic' to look for organizational skills, scholarly writing ability, completeness, and accuracy. If we like the review done on the 'test topic', we will assign that pathologist to the requested section as a reviewer. If not, then that pathologist will not become a reviewer.

I don't like making changes to a word document; is there another way for me to review?
Currently, we have found a word document to be the best way to review a topic. It allows you to track changes and add / change information as necessary, including references and images. In the future, we are looking to have our reviews done online, but it will be some time before we are ready for that. If you prefer to use a different text or word editor, it is an option for us to send you the link to the topic on our site, rather than sending you the topic in a word document.

Can I review an entire chapter rather than just a section?
Generally, no. We are now looking to sign up one reviewer for one section of a chapter. When that reviewer completes the section, they may request another section. If there isn't anyone else signed up for the chapter, it could be possible for a reviewer to eventually complete the entire chapter, one section of a time. But this will no longer be the normal expectation. We have found that one chapter is too much for one person, and would rather a reviewer focus their efforts on improving the quality of a smaller quantity of topics.

I'd like to review a topic that is not currently available on the Chapters in Review page; what should I do?
Currently, we are only looking for reviewers for the available sections on the Chapters in Review page. If you would like to review a section that is not listed, you may either wait until it is listed (we are hoping to review our entire textbook every 1-2 years), or contact our Reviewer coordinator (editor.pathout@gmail.com) and have her get in touch with you when the section is ready to be reviewed.

Can I move topics into a different section of the chapter / restructure the chapter?
As a reviewer, you may request to reorganize parts of a chapter if there is research that supports the desired restructure. Please submit these requests to Dr. Nat Pernick (NatPernick@hotmail.com).

What is your current review process?
  1. Read Instructions for Reviewers page.
  2. Read Chapters in Review page.
  3. Submit your request to review a specific section listed on the Chapers in Review page to our Reviewer coordinator at editor.pathout@gmail.com along with your resume.
  4. We review your resume and send you a 'test topic' from the requested section. You have two weeks to complete the 'test topic' to show us what you have to offer as a reviewer.
  5. We review your 'test topic' and either assign you the section you requested or decline to use you as a reviewer.
  6. If you are assigned the section, we send you the Reviewer Agreement Form to fill out and wait to receive it back from you.
  7. Then, we send you a topic from your section and you have two weeks to review it. When we receive your completed topic, we will send you the next topic and continue this process every two weeks until all of the topics of the section are completed.
  8. As we receive your completed topics, we convert them into html and typically post them to our site within 2 weeks of receiving them from you.
  9. When we post your topics to our site, we will ask you to take another look at them to see if there is anything you'd like changed.
  10. When the section is complete, you will receive payment for your completed topics. Depending on the length of your section, this could take anywhere from a month to over a year. At this point in time, you may request to review another section if you wish.

Timetable

How much time should I expect to spend on each topic?
On average, we recommend that reviewers spend about one to two hours on each topic. What we are looking for can't be done in just a few minutes. We are looking for reviewers who are willing to invest time and energy in writing and organizing updated information, evaluating and editing the information that is currently in the topic, and adding new references, images, and case reports. Depending on what information is already in the topic and how much the reviewer already knows about the topic, the amount of time needed to perfect it will vary. We have also heard that there is a learning curve. At first, it may take several hours to gather the material you need, adapt to our template, add links etc. But after completing a couple of topics, it should start to go faster as you get used to our system.

When will my reviews be posted on the site?
We will try to post your reviewed topics within 2 weeks of receiving them from you.

How much time do I have to review a topic?
You have two weeks to review a topic. We give this much time because we know that reviewers are very busy and have a lot of other things going on. It seems reasonable that in two weeks a reviewer will be able to put aside a couple of hours to review a topic.

I need more time; can I have an extension?
First of all, please consider whether you actually have time to be a reviewer. We have found that many people who ask for extensions simply do not have the time and end up asking for extensions several times and ultimately don't review anything. If this is the case, please let us know that you are no longer able to review instead of asking for an extension. However, if you generally do have the time and are able to meet the two week deadline but simply have a very busy couple of weeks, please ask for an extension and we will use the following policy. You are allowed to request up to three extensions per section, and the extension can be for no longer than two weeks. If you pass this limit, you will no longer be assigned as the reviewer of that section and we will allow a different reviewer to complete your section. This is because with 6600+ topics, we need to keep the reviews moving along or our website will not be up-to-date.

How long should I expect the entire review process to take, from start to finish?
This depends on how many topics are in the section you are assigned to. We allot two weeks for each topic. This is a good indicator of the amount of time it will take. For example, if your section has eight topics, at two weeks per topic you would be looking at about a four month process. I would recommend adding one additional month to that number, because we may take up to 2 weeks to post your last topic after we receive it. Additionally, when the topics are posted, we will ask you to look at them again on the site and to advise of any additional changes, but this generally doesn't take very long. Therefore, from the very start of requesting a section to the finalized topics on the site, you can calculate two weeks per topic and add an extra month for it all to be finalized. When the review process is complete, you may request another section if you wish.


Updating a Topic

What are some good sources for adding images and references?
We recommend using images from Webpathology.com, free full text journals on PubMed, websites listed on our Credits page, or other medical sites. Since we only link to images, and do not copy them, there is no copyright issue. However, we do not even link to websites that SELL images, because they object to this.

How much do I need to add to each topic?
A general standard that we are aiming for is at least 3-5 references per topic, at least 2 gross and 2 micro images per topic, and at least 3 case reports per topic. Additionally, we are looking to have information for every relevant section listed in 'Order of Sections' on our Instructions for Reviewers page. We are looking for topics to be complete without being repetitive. They need to have as much information as is useful to pathologists without adding unnecessary / extraneous information.

Am I allowed to write a topic that replaces what is currently on the site rather than adding to what is already there?
We take this on a case by case basis. If you desire to replace a topic, please let us know why and we will consider it. If you are doing a very extensive review, it may make more sense to replace rather than edit a topic, but generally we seek to build on what's already there.

What is an example of a topic that was reviewed well? I'd like to see what you're looking for.
Here are a few examples of topics that we are pleased with: One of the topics I'm reviewing is already in a different chapter. Does it need to be reviewed twice?
Yes, unless the two topics truly are identical, in which case we will link to the already existing topic if it is up-to-date. But usually there are at least some variations between sites and we want each chapter to be as complete as possible even though this will lead to some overlapping material between chapters. However, if a topic has information already in the same chapter, we do not want it repeated.

Do you have any tips on how to successfully review a topic?
  1. Review each topic as thoroughly as possible
  2. Turn in a finalized, proofread topic that is ready to be published
  3. Plan to spend at least an hour on each topic
  4. Think of the format as a template, with the goal to fill in as many sections as are relevant on our Instructions for Reviewers page under 'Order of Sections'
  5. Add references, images, and case reports from reputable sources, see credits page
  6. Don't simply insert a reference or image, but add new text to go along with it, and vice versa
  7. Write in short, concise phrases in outline format
  8. If an article is on pubmed, link to the pubmed page
  9. If an image has a caption, link to the page with the caption
The topic I'm reviewing is a very rare entity and I'm having a hard time finding information. Is it ok if I don't include as much?
Generally speaking, no, but in very rare exceptions, yes. Sometimes reviewers don't add very much due to the rarity of a topic, but then when we do a simple pubmed or google search, our non-pathologist html editors are able to find several new sources. Before you give up on a topic as being too rare, please thoroughly search through different sources, including the ones on our credits page. You could also try print resources such as medical textbooks. If after a thorough search, there truly are limited sources to be added to the topic, then yes, it is ok if you don't include very much, but this should be a very rare exception rather than a common occurrence. We want even rare topics to be reviewed as thoroughly as possible so that our online textbook is comprehensive. This way, for a rare case, a pathologist can come to our site with the confident expectation of finding information.

I'd like to add some of my own images to a topic. How can I do that?
We welcome reviewers to add their own images. To do so, we recommend adding them to our flickr group. Please include the topic name, a brief description of the image, and your name/affiliation. Also, please make sure that you publish your images as public so that anyone can see them. In the word document that has your review, simply include a link to the image and a couple of words for a caption. When you add images to flickr, you retain all rights and ownership of your images and you are responsible for any possible copyright violations.


Miscellaneous

I'm still a Resident; can I review?
Residents may request to review a section, if supervised by a staff / mentor. You are responsible for finding the staff to oversee your work. Their name will also be listed on the topics.

After completing the 'test topic' I was not selected as a reviewer; can I have another chance?
No. The 'test topic' is your one chance to show us your capabilities as a reviewer. If there are just a couple of small changes that we would like to see in your 'test topic', then we will give you the chance to make those corrections and if you are able to take our instruction, you will probably be assigned to the section. But if we tell you that no, your review simply is not what we are looking for, then that response is final. This is nothing against you as a pathologist; we have simply found that great pathologists aren't necessarily a great match to review for our site. We have also found that if a pathologist is not naturally capable of reviewing in the style we desire, it is not something that we have the time or resources to teach.

How much / when / how will I be paid?
You will be paid $10/topic when your section is complete and posted on our site. You will be paid by paypal or by check, according to your preference. If you are looking to review mainly as a source of income, we recommend that you look elsewhere because you can make much more in clinical practice.

What is the Editorial Board and what does it mean if there is an Editor listed on my topics?
The Editorial Board is a group of leading experts with the role of overseeing a chapter in their area of expertise. We have an Editorial Board to ensure the accuracy of information, to make our site more authoritative, and to generally improve the quality of reviews. Ultimately we would like to have an Editor for every chapter, and that would mean an Editor listed on each topic, but we are still in the early stages of this.

What recognition do I get as a reviewer?
We believe that recognition is one of the most compelling motivations to review for our site. We average 15,000+ visits daily and our site traffic continues to increase, so a large number of pathologists will regularly view your work. Your name is listed on each topic and chapter that you review (until the next time it is updated) and can be easily seen by anyone who looks at one of your topics. Additionally, you will be listed on our Reviewers page, along with a headshot and your contact information. Furthermore, when your section is complete, we will announce the chapter, section, and reviewer on our news page. We try to get the word out about our great reviewers anyway we can.

End of Reviewer FAQ page