When searching for professional strategies of how to write a peer review, it is valuable to define the term. Peer review, also known as refereeing, is the final step of paper evaluation from a professional reviewer before publishing. Peers are the experts in the field and review the article before it is published. The main purpose of the scholarly peer-review process is to evaluate the soundness, validity, authenticity, and originality of scholarly articles. The key point of peer review is to filter out invalid or lower quality articles and thereby maintain the integrity of science.
Although refereeing seems like a challenging step, its outcome is undeniable. The scholarly peer review process increases paper quality and adds indelible value to the published article. Since the criteria of peer-reviewed articles are often used as an additional filter in the search results, the reviewed scholarly article becomes even easier to find for readers, when searched for a piece of authoritative scientific information.
Even though the peer review process is based on a conversation between the author and the reviewer, there are specifically determined responsibilities for both sides. Being an editor or reviewer of a journal is a truly prestigious and productive experience. In addition, being a referee is a great opportunity to give a special contribution and add more value to the scientific community.
Although refereeing can be seen as a tedious process that requires diligence, its benefits are essential.
As beneficial as peer work is, it’s also appreciable to highlight the professional responsibility the process of the scholarly peer-review process requires. If a person receives an invitation to contribute as a peer, one is not only considered to be an expert in his field but also receives an opportunity to get recognized by editorial board members. Thereby, among these opportunities, great professional responsibility comes along for the referee.
If you are searching for professional strategies on how to write a peer review, you are reading the right article. Here, we disclose strategies on how to tell if an article is peer-reviewed and provide 5 key steps of the peer-review process.
Now, let’s review go throughout every point in a more detailed way.
Report format overview is the first step, to begin with, the paper review process. In fact, the structure of the review report differs between journals – it could be both an informal and formal approach. If a formal approach provides concrete criteria and requires to address specific questions via a questionnaire in the review, the informal format is less strict and relies on referee evolving style. Thereby, it’s highly important to settle first the criteria that refereeing paper has to meet.
Reading the manuscript contains the actual reading of the paper. After reading the article abstract, the referee should understand the aim, key data, and conclusion of the manuscript. The first read-through is highly important when forming an initial impression of the manuscript.
Asking the right questions is another significant part of the peer work. No wonder why asking the right question is called finding half of the solution for the problem. The right questions not only determine the direction of the process but also points out to core problems of the submitted paper. In order to judge the quality of the research and form an overall impression, it’s recommended to focus on the questions that are focused on a global aspect first. Global aspects of the submitted manuscript are prioritized because they affect the whole text and cannot be examined without reading the whole document in the first place. This order of refereeing process allows to get the essential goals of the text and encourages to ask key questions regarding the purpose, audience or the how well the author organizes information in the manuscript, for example:
It is important to evaluate if the authors objective is comprehensible, does he make his case effectively and hits all of the requirements of the assignment. After the global aspects of the paper are observed, it’s time for manuscript details to be questioned next.
Often referred to as proofreading, local aspects of the submitted scholarly article are the ones who require attention to details. If global aspects are oriented to make great changes, local aspects address the author making changes in a sentence and paragraph level items. They include things like spelling, punctuation, grammar, technical errors, and word usage. Local aspect comments are most useful for the final editing stage when attention to detail is needed.
Preparing the feedback of the paper is an important part of the refereeing and it’s important to make it in an organized way. It’s recommended first to start with positive comments and tell the author what worked well. Second and the most important part – to tell the author what could have been better and what suggestions you have to get to the desired result.
The scholarly peer-review process is also known as a revision activity meaning to re-see the text with new eyes. When reviewers make comments, questions, or suggestions, they often make for authors a new perspective, and vision of their writing.
After the scholarly article is peer review, it’s time to go through the peer review checklist and confirm whether the article has been reviewed. Check the video below for some inspiration!
In order to confirm whether the academic article is peer-reviewed, it’s advisable to check it in 3 simple steps:
The reviewed publication is highly valued in the scientific community and most presses and publications require peer review before articles or books are published. It’s worth mentioning, that editors often ask how to tell if an article is peer-reviewed and based on certain criteria decides whether to accept or reject the paper. When accepting or rejecting a manuscript, editors rely on reviewers’ recommendations and comments based on their area of expertise. As different aspects of comments are relevant for the editor and the author, it is advisable for the referee to separate these comments.
It’s highly important for comments and recommendations to be synchronized, matched, logical and well-argued. If the paper is recommended to be rejected, it’s also important to clearly state reasons. The more specific referee is, the easier decision and work for an editor is.