The Complete Guide on How to Write Peer Review

Peer review is an interesting process designed to check academic articles’ validity, quality, and originality. Peer reviewers play an important role in scholarly publications. The amazing peer review system validates academic work. This helps to improve the quality of published research. In this guide, we will go through the entire process of how to write a peer review.

The peer-review process maintains the integrity of science and filter-out the invalid and poor academic work. Composing an academic article is a regular activity for high-school and university students. Good knowledge of the peer review process motivates students to maintain good quality. Publishers utilize the reviewing process to filter out the poor quality to create journal brands.

What Is Peer Review

What Is Peer Review

Peer review is the system utilized to assess the quality of a manuscript before submitting it for publishing. Independent researchers related to the particular subject assess the submitted manuscript. The researchers review the manuscripts for validity, originality, and significance to offer constructive feedback. This helps editors and publishers determine whether they should publish the manuscript in their journal.    

When an academic article is submitted to a journal, it is assessed to check if it meets submission criteria. If it does, the editorial team selects potential peer reviewers within the same research field. The reviewers peer-review the manuscript and provide their recommendations and avoid major flaws. 

Once you are done with the peer review, the most important point of discussion will be persuasive speech topics. You can get it right here.

Peer review is imperative for scientific publishing to confirm the validity of the manuscript. The professional peer-reviewers volunteer their time to improve the quality of the manuscripts for future research. The good peer reviewer points out gaps in an academic paper that require more explanations or additional experiments.

Peer reviewers also suggest changing some parts of the paper if it is difficult to read. The reviewers also consider the importance of scientific papers for others in a similar field. There are many processes utilized for peer review. Get professional help with online class!

Types Of Peer Review

The most familiar types of peer review are single-blind, double-blind, and open peer review. However, reviewers utilize some other types also which are developed with time. These are transparent, collaborative, and post-publication peer reviews. These new types have some key variations compared to the standard approach. The peer-review system is constantly evolving with new models. Let’s understand the types of peer review as given below:

Types Of Peer Review

Single Blind

In this type, the author is not aware of the reviewer’s identity. This is the most usual type of peer review utilized for science journals.

Pros:Cons:
The anonymity makes the reviewer to be honest without fearing criticism from the author.Knowledge of the author may sometimes overshadow the quality of work.
Knowing about the author helps reviewers use their knowledge of the author’s previous papers.There are chances of discrimination based on gender or nationality.

Double Blind

In this type, both authors and reviewers don’t know each other. This is the most general type of peer review system. This type is usually used for humanities and social science journals.

Pros:Cons:
The entire research is assessed fairly, without any bias.Anonymity is difficult, as it could be reasonably easy to discover the author’s identity.
The author and reviewer get some protection from any kind of criticism.Some experts believe that knowledge of the author’s identity helps the reviewer come to a more informed assessment. Lack of this may affect the reviews.

Open Peer Review

In this type, the identity of the author and reviewers is known to all the participants. The majority of journals use this review system. However, its popularity among reviewers is not proven yet. Few journals also publish the reviews with the final paper. This helps readers to know both reviewers and authors and post their comments.

Pros:Cons:
As this review system is open and transparent, it guarantees accountability and civility. That helps to improve overall scientific paper quality.Some reviewers are not comfortable with for open review system. Because of concerns as being identified for the negative reviews.

Reviewers are motivated to do a thorough job, as their names sometimes appear on the published paper.

Some reviewers may be reluctant to criticize the work of senior authors, especially if their careers depend upon them. This is a severe issue in smaller research communities or some parts of the world.

Transparent Peer Reviewing

In this system, the reviewers report authors’ responses, and editors’ decision letters are also published with the final paper. The transparent peer review process is still fully compatible with journals utilizing the single or double-blind review system. Authors are given options to opt-out of this review system during submission.  

Collaborative

This review system uses a variety of approaches where a team of experts works together to review the paper. In one of its formats, two or more reviewers work together to review the paper. They submit a unified report after a thorough discussion. In another approach, one or more reviewers collaborate with the author to improve the overall quality of the paper. So that it reaches the publishing standards.

Pros:Cons:
It offers a more constructive and less restrictive feeling than the traditional peer review system. This system removes the barriers between reviewers and authors.

There are chances of losing the benefits of two or more independent evaluations.

The collaboration between authors and reviewers can blur the distinction between the authoring and appraisal.

Post Publication

In this type of peer review system, the process of appraisal and revision of academic paper continues and even occur after the publication. The reviews may take the form of a comments section or discussion forum along with the published science articles. However, the post-publication review system doesn’t exclude other forms of the peer review system. It’s just an addition to other review processes. 

Pros:Cons:

This approach reflects the evolving nature of knowledge.

Reviewing articles after publication is incompatible with the notion of the version of the record; it may affect the new research through citation of previous literature.

It offers an opportunity for the papers to improve quality even after publication.

Shortcomings and errors within published material have traditionally been addressed through corrections, errata, and published discussion, e.g., letters to the editor.

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Guidelines For Students As a Peer Reviewer

You must have analyzed the various benefits of peer review and its importance for improving the quality of the academic paper. Understanding peer review also helps students to improve the quality of their papers. The school and university students are not only asked to write a paper; they also need to complete the peer review assignments.

That’s why the students must know how to perform the peer review. Below we have provided important tips to perform the peer review. Many instructors discuss these guidelines with students during the peer review practice session. So here we go:

  • Read the entire document thoroughly before you even make your first comment.
  • Spare enough time for yourself to read the paper, respond, and for your peer to edit his/her manuscript with your comments before any deadlines.
  • If you are given the feedback form, do not ignore it. Ask the instructor for clarification if you cannot understand anything in the feedback form.
  • It’s always the best idea to highlight the academic paper’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Offer your suggestions, restrict to give commands.
  • Write comments for editorial appropriately and constructively. Be respectful and considerate about the writer’s work. Always restrict yourself from being rude.
  • Always provide your comments clearly and text-specific so that your peers will understand what you want to refer. Let’s say the terms such as “not clear” or “vague” are too general to be helpful.
  • Try to raise questions that cross your mind as a reader. Points that may not have occurred to your peer author.
  • Never try to overwhelm the peer with unnecessary commentary. Stick to the feedback form and the issues you are supposed to address.
  • Never be biased while giving your opinions. Never suggest that your peer rewrite the paper entirely just because you disagree with their point of view.
  • Recheck your comments before passing them on to your peers. Your comments must make sense and be easy to understand
  • Last but not least, never turn out your peer’s paper into your paper.

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Importance Of Peer Review In Science

Peer review is an essential process of subjecting an authors’ academic work, opinion and research. It’s an amazing scrutiny system done by experts in a similar field. The reviewers guarantee the quality of the research paper and motivate writers to maintain the high standards of the science field. In the meanwhile get here the amazing tips on how to write a lab report.

Peer review in science restricts authors from disseminating the research data. This stops unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, or personal views from getting published without prior review. The experts often criticize the peer-review process because of an overall slow process. Few experts point out the possibility of bias by the reviewers and the editors.

However, peer review has become an essential part of scientific journals and papers in the scientific community. It helps the entire academic process to generate meaningful papers and draw an accurate conclusion based on the professionally performed experiments.

Submission of a low-quality manuscript is prevalent nowadays. The peer review for the science papers acts as a filter to prevent these papers from reaching the scientific community. The prime advantage of a peer review process is that reviewed papers provide a trusted form of scientific communication.

Scientific knowledge is always cumulative and builds on itself; this trust is especially important in science. Peer review has many positive impacts. However, critics argue that the peer review process stifles innovation in experimentation and acts as a poor screen against plagiarism.

The peer-review methods may have downfalls. But, there is no alternate foolproof system developed to replace peer review. However, researchers have been looking into electronic means of improving the peer-review process.

Unfortunately, the recent explosion of online or electronic journals has led to the mass publication of many scientific articles with little or no peer review. This poses a significant risk to advances in scientific knowledge and its future potential. Understand the complete concept of primary and secondary sources.

Ten Tips To Professionally Perform Peer Review Process – Peer Reviewers

The concept of peer review has historical importance. The interesting process was developed long before we started to publish academic journals. As per historians, the peer review process has been used to evaluate written work since ancient Greece. The amazing peer review process was initially explained by a physician named Ishaq bin Ali al-Rahwi (Syria). The physician 854-931 CE, in his book “Ethics of the Physician.”

However, we will not get into much detail about it. But, an invention of the printing press in the mid 15th century allowed mass publications. Printed documents can reach a wide range of masses. That further increased the importance of peer review. After the second world war, the peer review system got the systematic and institutionalized form. Professional development in the review system helps reviewers to follow journal specific guidelines.

Ten Tips To Professionally Perform Peer Review Process – Peer Reviewers

Let’s go through the ten amazing tips to perform the peer-review process professionally:

1. Always Act Professionally: 

Scientific community plays an important role in providing peer review. As a part of the science community and for the betterment of science, scientists are expected to take part in the incredible review system. As an author, one expects experts to review their work. They must also commit to reviewing the work of others for the growth of science and other fields.

2.  Be Pleasant: 

Don’t be harsh if you ever find low-quality work. Suggest the writer for the re-work and never leave ad hominem comments. Ask them to work again; there is no point in being ruthless.  

3. Read the Invite Properly: 

When you email an author in your field of expertise to perform a peer review. You will be provided with the links with either accept or reject. It’s better to respond to a link than reacting an email. 

4. Be Helpful: 

Always show your interest and how you can be helpful to fill the shortcoming in the paper. As a reviewer, you should guide an author on what is relevant and what aspects need more research. 

5. Be Scientific: 

You are not a mere reviewer; you are playing the active role of a scientific reviewer. It requires much more than proofreading or decision-making. It’s better to offer the scientific edge and knowledge. Restrict yourself to review with editorial or typographic issues. Provide credibility to the paper with your scientific knowledge and inclination. If you find too many typographic errors, suggest them to conduct professional proofreading as a part of your reviews. 

6. Be Timely: 

The true professional is always on time. Editors can find out who is reviewing and how long it takes for the entire process. Being on time shows you are respecting both authors and publishers. It’s better to develop a reputation for being an on-time reviewer. 

7. Be Realistic: 

You must always be realistic about the work presented, suggested changes, and other essential aspects. If you set a bar too high for academic research papers, editors may not like it. They will simply override them and appoint another reviewer. 

8.  Be Empathetic: 

Always ensure you provide your reviews for the science and scientific community’s growth. Always be helpful and courteous if you find any minor issues. Always be sensitive to the type of language and tone you use in a review. 

9. Be Open: 

Always remember a general reviewer can also provide valuable insight while writing a peer review. The editors can reach out to generalized and specialized reviewers for the same paper. The editors have many things in mind while doing this. So, always be open if the paper is reviewed simultaneously by someone not having the expertise in the domain. 

10.  Be Organized: 

As a reviewer, you must offer structural and logical flow. Always proofread a review before submitting it for structural, grammatical, and spelling errors and clarity. Usually, publishers provide short guides on structuring a peer review on their website. Go through it and conduct the peer-review accordingly. Provide your feedback on improving the overall quality of the article.

Moreover, the American Physiology Society (APS) recommends that peer reviewers understand the perspective of the editor and author. The reviewer should ensure that the peer review is completed on time to appreciate editors. Moreover,  provide clear explanations to back up recommendations. Also, you must ensure that their feedback is constructive to help the author. All about words to start a paragraph!

How To Write A Peer Review Examples

Now you know why peer review is important. It helps publishers to publish high-quality papers. Many journals provide feedback form to the reviewers. You can fill out those forms according to the guidelines. However, you can use the framework given below to provide your reviews and recommendations:

How To Write A Peer Review Examples

1. Provide the basic contribution of the article. 

You can use a couple of sentences on the topic of the paper. Starting like this will help journal editors and authors understand that you have gone through the entire paper and understand the subject. It also shows you have done your own research on the subject.

  • “This academic article discusses _______________. The main contribution of the paper is ____________.”

2. Provide your recommendation. 

You can use a couple of sentences for this as given below.

  • “I recommend that this research paper should be accepted.”
  • “I recommend that this research paper be accepted after some minor revision.”
  • “I recommend that this article not be accepted without major revision.”
  • “I recommend that this paper be rejected.”

3. Provide reasons for recommendations. 

Label these reasons as “major comments.” You can use the examples given below.

  • The statistical analysis provided in this research paper is suitable/unsuitable for….
  • When discussing experimental techniques, this paper is conventional/novel, and so…
  • The Methods section does not clearly explain…
  • The results obtained will be helpful to in…
  • Some of the basic and recent papers in the domain are not cited; some of them are…
  • I would recommend seeing some discussion of the papers’ findings concerning recent findings and developments in ______.

4. At last, give some additional comments. 

This is where you can highlight spelling issues and grammar. Suggest some changes to figures and tables, with specific comments. Label these as “minor comments.” A few examples are given below.

  • In various places, the term is utilized_____, but it seems you want to mention _____.
  • In some of the figures provided, the legends are too small to be legitimate.
  • On page ____, it is stated that _____, but the paper by Smith et al. says that ______. Can you comment on this disparity?
  • Have you thought about testing this with _____________?

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Conclusion

Peer review has become essential to help editors select credible, high-quality, novel, and interesting research papers. So that the scientific journals ensure the submitted papers are free from errors. However, the peer review process may have some flaws and deficiencies. But another suitable screening method for scientific papers has not yet been proposed or developed.

Researchers have begun and must continue to look for means of addressing the current issues with peer review. Research question addressed amazingly by the peer review system. This will ensure a full-proof system, and only quality research papers are released into the scientific community.

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