Peer review, also known as refereeing, is a collective process that allows manuscripts submitted to a journal to be assessed and commented upon by independent professionals within the same field of research.
Benefits of review:
- Help authors to improve and refine their papers, applying your professional expertise to help others.
- Help & assist in maintaining a good, rigorous peer-review process resulting in the publication of the best and brightest.
- Maintain awareness of the current research emerging within your subject area so that it maintains one’s individual to know where they are.
- Build relationships with the editorial team of a journal and improve your academic and professional profile in this emerging field of science.
- Although often unacknowledged, the review process can act as a conversation between author, reviewer, and editor as to how the paper can be improved to maximize its impact and further research in the field of science.
- Help to tie attention to any gaps in references and make the author aware of any additional literature that may provide useful comparison, or clarification of an approach.
What all the factors to consider before saying ‘yes’ to reviewing
Before agreeing to review for a journal, you should take note of the following:
- What form of review does the journal operate? (blind/open/single).
- How you will need to submit your review? – for example, is there a structured form for reviewers to complete or will you be required to write free text?
- Papers sent to reviewers in the course of conducting peer review are to be dealt with as confidential documents.
- If a conflict of interest exists between 1+n, you should make the editor aware of this ASAP.
- Were you able to complete the level of review required by the editor in the allotted time –If you are struggling to meet the deadline, let the editor know, so they can inform the author if there is a delay.
Writing a review:
Investigate the journal’s content
- Refer to the Instructions for Authors if the paper meets the submission criteria of the journal ex:length, scope, and presentation.
- Complete the report form to indicate the relative dos and don’ts of the paper.
- A referee may disagree with the author’s opinions, but should allow them to stand and provided they are consistent with the available testimony or evidence.
- Remember that authors always welcome positive feedback as well as constructive criticism from you.
Writing your report:
Make an assessment
- After completing the review processmention the relative strengths or weaknesses of the paper.
- If any referee disagree with the author’s opinions, should allow them to stand and askthem to provide that they are consistent with the available evidence.
- Remember that authors will welcome positive feedback as well as constructive criticism from you always.
Answer key questions
The main factors you should provide aid on as a reviewer are the originality, presentation, relevance, and significance of the manuscript’s of the journal.
Try to have the following questions in mind while you are reading the manuscript:
- Was the submission is original?
- Was the research was a cutting edge or topical?
- Was it significantly built on (the author’s) previous work?
- Scope of the journal i.e.,further research in this subject area possible?
- Would you recommend that the author reconsider the paper for a related or alternative journal?
- Can be shortened and reconsidered in another form?
- Would the paper be of interest to the readership of the journal?
- Was there any abstract or brief summary of the work undertaken as well as a concluding section? Was the paper complete?
- Was the submission is in Standard English to help the understanding of the reader? For non-native speakers, an English editing service may be useful.
- Are the methodologies presented in the manuscript and analysis provided are accurate and properly conducted?
- Do you feel that significance and potential impact of a paper is high or low?
- Were all relevant? like data, citations, or references given by the author?
Make a recommendation
Once you’ve read the paper and have checked its quality as per standards, make a recommendation to the editor regarding publication. The specific decision types used by a journal may vary but the key decisions are:
- Accept – if the paper is suitable for publication.
- Minor revision – if the paper will be ready for publication after minor revisions. Please list the revisions you would recommend the author to make.
- Major revision – if the paper would benefit from major changes such as expanded data analysis, rewriting sections of the text or widening of the literature review.
- Reject – if the paper is not suitable for publication.
- Provide detailed comments.
- These should be suitable for transmission to the authors: If you doesn’t have any clarity over any point please make a comment to the author to which we have committed to high quality publication.
- If you have time, make suggestions to the author how he/she can improve the quality of presentation.
- If you recommend shortening of the paper, Conform and justify the paper is lengthy and indicate specific areas where you think that shortening is required.
- Reviewer can’t edit the paper in English but take your time and suggest the author technically where the changes need to be required.
In response to reviewer comments when authors make revisions to their article they may supposed to ask to submit a list of changes and any comments for their respective article. So, the revised version is usually returned to the original reviewer. It reflects that the revisions have been carried out satisfactorily.
What if you are unable to review?
Whenever you were asked to review a paper there will be some instances where you can’t review. So at that particular point of time please alert the editorial office and it would be very helpful if you recommend an alternative or someone whose opinion you trust
If you are unable to complete your report on a paper in the agreed time please inform the editorial office ASAP so that the refereeing procedure is not delayed.
Make the editors aware of any potential conflicts of interest that may affect the paper under review.