What you should know about peer reviews

During our university years, we have all heard professors vouching for peer-reviewed publications. We were advised to refer to the research articles that have been reviewed by the experts in that field. In this blog post, we’re going to explore all the important things you need to know about peer-reviews.

Why are peer-reviews important?

 Peer-review is a means of validating research by the experts in that field of study. Once the article or the study is scrutinized by the peer expert, it is fit to be published in a journal and considered positively by governments, scientists, medical practitioners, academicians, etc.

These reviews are highly reliable because they are critically analyzed by the experts and include many helpful findings.

How is a peer review performed?

 Performing a peer review is a rigorous process and it requires one to be an expert in his field. While some lesser-known journals might accept debutants, most publications prefer well-known reviewers. The process involves critically analyzing a study and giving necessary feedback to the author. In some cases, modification is required for the research to be accepted and published. In some other cases, the article could be straightaway accepted or rejected. This approval or verification by an expert is crucial; without this, the authenticity of the research would be doubtful and remain preliminary or incomplete.

The reviewer is expected to follow a set protocol, depending on the standard and requirements of the journal or the publication. Even though there are no universal guidelines, it is advisable that the feedback should be valuable, positive, and honest.

There are three kinds of peer reviews:

  • Single-blind peer review: the author’s identity is revealed to the reviewers, but the reviewers’ details are concealed from the author.
  • Double-blind peer review: both the identities remain hidden.
  • Open peer review: the identities are revealed to both the parties involved

 

How to recognize peer-reviewed journals?

 In a situation where one needs to identify a peer-reviewed journal article, one needs to follow the steps below.

  • Start by limiting the search to peer-reviewed journals only (if possible)
  • If it’s not possible to narrow the search, one can also find the details of peer-review in the article itself
  • You can also check on com to ascertain whether the publication where the article is presented is peer-reviewed
  • If you are a scholar, and you have tried all of the above steps, you can also ask your mentor for help regarding this.

 

Even though peer-reviews can be really helpful in accessing some high-quality content, it also has its limitations and flaws. With the increasing number of publications around the world, it is difficult to find as many esteemed reviewers. Sometimes, if the identity of the author is revealed, the reviewer might form a bias based on gender, nationality, or age. Despite some of these flaws, the role of peer-reviews in providing accurate and reliable information cannot be denied.


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