tips for academic peer review for journals

Peer reviews serve as filters for content because it cancels out the invalidity of poor quality journals; making one’s work validated in terms of research, and assure its quality based on the standards set for publishing a journal. With the use of peering journal reviews, writers or journalists are given the chance to improve their writings as they practice their responsibilities in ethical writing and receive different criticisms from their peer reviewers. These are done for them to be trained into becoming an effective writer.

In undertaking an academic peer review for journals, there should be a step by step process that serves as basis in conducting an effective and efficient peer review. Going further on this article, the step by step basic process will be discussed, and you will be given some tips on how to conduct a successful peer review.

The Basic Process in Conducting Peer Reviews

The following statements below are the basic process in conducting a systematic way of validating and assuring one’s paper works. Take time to peruse over these and apply them in undertaking different types of peer reviews.

  • The process starts when the writer submits his or her work to undergo an assessment process which is conducted by an editor. In this process, the overview of the manuscript is being examined whether it has an informal, or formal approach of structure. By examining this, the reviewer could determine what type of peer review he or she is going to perform, and what format or criteria should be followed.
  • When the editor finishes editing the manuscript, there could be two possible results. The work could either be submitted to proceed the reviewing process, or it could be rejected. Upon editing one’s work, the criteria or basis should be authentic.
  • If the manuscript is submitted to the reviewers, a first read-through is taken place. Otherwise, the writer needs to undergo the beginning of the process by submitting his or her work for the second time. By performing the first read-through process, the overall impression regarding the manuscript is identified by interrogating some various of questions regarding the journal’s research validation, originality, the writing style and the format.
  • When the reviewers are done with the first read-through of the manuscript, it is then submitted to another editor in order for the second editing to be done to ensure its quality. In this part of the process, the major flaws or issues such as insufficient data, unclear information and the like are identified.
  • When further review of the manuscript is needed to be done, this second editor returns the manuscript to the reviewers. Thus, the second read-through takes place. Deeper questions are asked in order to further ensure the quality of the journal.
  • If the manuscript does not need any further review but is subjected to have some revisions, it is submitted back to the writer to modify or alter some changes, and undergo the beginning process.
  • If the manuscript does not need further reviews and revisions, it is either rejected, or accepted. By means of accepting the manuscript, it is validated and qualified for production and publication.

In conducting this basic process of peer reviews, criticisms play an important role. Though these are said to be offensive most of the time, provision of these often result to a positive outcome, as it is given basing on the observational feedback regarding one’s work.

The Common Types of Peer Reviews

The most common type of peer review is the single blind peer review, in which the writer or author does not have any idea on who are the reviewers of his or her work. In this way, the reviewers’ honest feedback are protected from the criticisms that the writer has for them. Another type is a double blind peer review which means both the reviewers and the writers are unknown or hidden to each other. Thus, keeping both safe from the criticisms they have for each other. Another is the open type of peer review in which both have ideas on whose work is reviewed, and who are responsible for reviewing; giving each other chances to respond to the different criticisms. The last one is the post publication peer review which is similar to open review wherein both the writer’s and reviewer’s identities are known to each other, yet this time the manuscript or journal is published already.

These different types of peer reviews are basically used depending on what kind of research and writing style are practiced by the writers or authors. You may also refer to peer review assignments on how these are viewed and submitted in order to have more information regarding these types or peer reviews.

Tips for Undertaking Academic Peer Review for Journals

The following are few of the various tips that you could refer to whenever you are asked to undertake an academic peer review:

  • You, as the reviewer should create awareness or acquire some knowledge on what peer reviews are, and how these are processed or conducted. It is also more advantageous if you are informed about the different types of peer reviews.
  • Undertaking a peer review should be done professionally, especially in terms of giving some quality feedback regarding one’s work.
  • You could search for some peer reviewed journals, use them as references in reviewing the writer’s work, and see or learn how these are reviewed.
  • You also have to be considerate by not demand much from the writers. Do not expect too much, instead take time to teach each one on how to be an effective writer.
  • You should be knowledgeable when it comes to the elements of ethical writing. Otherwise, you would not know how to judge someone’s work, and you will end up giving the wrong suggestions.
  • Remember the aim of giving feedback for the better, and do not be afraid to hurt one’s feelings. Though, you have to know your limits, and make sure that what you are advising are constructive or useful and not discriminatory to the writer’s personal information.
  • Use a method or a technique in reviewing one’s work by basing on the objectives or criteria, and by organizing all ideas.
  • You should be able to know the writer’s personality and understand his or her writing style by keenly observing or referring to his or her work, regardless whether you know the writer’s identity or not.
  • You have to be responsive which means you do not have any delays. It is better that you are responsible enough to follow a deadline in completing the process of peer reviewing a writer’s work.
  • Make sure that your suggestions and recommendations to the writer are useful and helpful. In other words, be constructive and based the performance reviews on facts or actual basis and not on your own opinions or personal issues.

For the writer’s point of view, or the receiver of different reviews for feedback, here are some tips on how he or she is likely to response to the different kinds of criticisms.

  • Acceptance is one of the most important things a writer has to have when he or she hears different kinds of criticisms or bad reviews regarding his or her work or production. It is better that the writer accepts his or her imperfections.
  • Have the willingness or the desire to change for better production of standard or quality output.
  • Have the responsiveness to the suggestions or recommendations provided by the reviewers. This means changes should be made in a timely manner and with no delays.
  • Be respectful most especially when responding to the reviewer’s feedback.
  • Provide some acceptable evidences or facts when responding to the arguments.
  • Each one should have the passion to write, and put their hearts into it in order to ensure great quality of output.
  • Understand the purpose of why peer reviews are conducted, and do not see these as burdens.
  • Give importance on each review even if it is a fellow student’s feedback. By doing so, the writer should take each seriously.
  • Learn how to respond and use the criticisms as motivational feedback. This means, writers should be proactive, instead of being reactive, and see the positive side of each negative feedback.
  • Use lessons learned to improve and develop your own writing skills. Each writer should also know what are the criticisms to cherish.
  • Each writer should pay attention to details. If in any case there is one thing that is misunderstood, the writer should not be hesitant.
  • Be confident of your own work despite the criticisms received.
  • Shows gratitude or appreciation in response to the reviewer’s criticisms because these are delivered for writing improvements and developments.

These are just few of how writers are expected to respond when their research paper proposals, manuscripts, or journals are peered effectively. Though peer reviews are basically more on criticisms which writers or journalists always find offensive, these should not be taken negatively. You may take your time in referring to these lists above in order to guarantee that your peer reviews regarding one’s work are successful.

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