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We sought to establish a guide for identifying fellowship competency in performing fluoroscopically guided lumbar punctures. With a linear mixed-effects model, we compared the fluoroscopy time between the first and last 3 months of neuroradiology training. During 7 years, 55 fellows performed 1142 and 861 lumbar punctures in the first and last quarters of training. A target fluoroscopy time of 0.26 minutes, the upper 95% confidence interval, can serve as a fellowship benchmark for successfully achieving competence in fluoroscopically guided lumbar punctures.
Many scientific journals use double-blind peer review to minimize potential reviewer bias concerning publication recommendations. However, because neuroradiology is a relatively small subspecialty, this process may be limited by prior knowledge of the authors' work or associated institutions. We sought to investigate the efficacy of reviewer blinding and determine the impact that unblinding may have on manuscript acceptance.MATERIALS AND METHODS:
For manuscripts submitted to the American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR) from January through June 2015, reviewers completed a brief anonymous questionnaire after submitting their evaluations, assessing whether they were familiar with the research or had knowledge of the authors or institutions from which the work originated.RESULTS:
The response rate for 1079 questionnaires was 98.8%; 12.9% of reviewers knew or suspected that they knew authors, and 15.3% knew or suspected that they knew the associated institutions. Reviewers correctly identified the authors in 90.3% of cases and correctly stated the institutions in 86.8% of cases. Unblinding resulted from self-citation in 34.1% for both authorship and institutions. The acceptance rate when reviewers knew or suspected that they knew the authors was 57/137 (41.6%) and 262/929 (28.2%) when reviewers did not. The acceptance rate when reviewers knew or suspected that they knew the institutions was 60/163 (36.8%) and 259/903 (28.7%) when they did not. The Fisher exact test showed that author (P < .038) and institution (P < .039) familiarity was associated with greater manuscript acceptance.CONCLUSIONS:
While the AJNR process of double-blind peer review minimizes reviewer bias, perceived knowledge of the author and institution is associated with a higher rate of manuscript acceptance.