Roles & Responsibilities of Peer-Reviewers

Peer-Review Process

Peer Review is an influential process of academic journal publication. All Manuscripts are Peer Reviewed by the subject experts.

Before a scholarly work is published or approved, it is reviewed by a group of experts in the same field to ensure that it meets the appropriate criteria.

Stages of Peer-Review

Did you know the Process of Peer-Review?

Initial Check

It is done by the Editor who reads & approves the manuscript for Peer Review Process. The manuscript may be rejected at this level.

Editor-in-chief Review

Experts evaluate the manuscript and see if the scope of the journal is well defined and interesting.

Assigned to Editor With Subject Expertise

Experts who have subject knowledge related to the manuscript evaluate the manuscript.

Peers / Referees

The experts who check the manuscripts are known as Peers or Referees. They check the following things:

  • Quality & Significance of the Manuscript
  • About the Research topic – if it is Interesting and Important
  • Sound Methodology
  • Arriving at Logical Conclusions
  • Checking the Findings are original

Review Return

The Peers give a high-quality review after evaluation of the manuscript.

Editor’s Final Decision

Editors decide if the manuscript is worthy of publishing or not. If approved, they may recommend revisions to the Authors.

Responsibilities of Journal Editors 

Have you ever wondered what Journal Editors do in Peer-Review?

Roles towards Authors 

  • Providing constructive feedback promptly on the scholarly merits and the scientific value of the work.
  • Providing specific suggestions for improvement and stating the details of the journal in a Cover Letter.
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of the review process.

Roles towards Editors

  • Informing the editor immediately if unable to review.
  • Following the editor’s comments and creating an abstract if required.
  • Determining scientific merit, originality, importance & clarity of the hypothesis and scope of the work and indicating ways to improve it.
  • Providing Critical Assessment – Strength & Weakness of Introduction, Methodology, Data Analysis, Results, Discussion & Conclusion.
  • Checking the formatting of the Manuscript and instructing if it is not in proper order.
  • Looking into Internal Consistency of the Manuscript, Writing Style & Figure/ Table Presentation.
  • Checking the Appropriateness of References, Title, Abstracts, and Conclusions.
  • Ensuring that the manuscript adheres to the journal’s guidelines.

Roles towards Readers

  • Assuring that the methodology and results of the review are easily accessible to the readers.
  • Citing sources to assist readers in gathering knowledge about the journal.

Conclusion

The Editor’s decision is crucial in the publication of a journal. The Author, Editor, and Readers are all subjected to peer review. Academic journals rely heavily on peer review for publication.

To conclude, the purpose of Peer Reviewers is to

  • Select the manuscript for the journal
  • Determine the Originality of the manuscript
  • Improve the quality of the published paper
  • Ensures previous work is acknowledged
  • Determine the importance of findings

The best Peer Reviewers tend to view themselves as Mentors rather than Critics.

HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH PAPER A PERFECT FIT FOR A JOURNAL

Getting a research paper published in a journal is difficult given the high level of competition. There are numerous scholarly authors producing excellent research papers and good journals are flooded with manuscripts from which they can pick and choose. The editors of reputed journals are always keen to improve upon the impact factor of their journals and therefore pick and choose from applications only those articles that they feel add value to their journals. For a successful journal publication, as an author, you have to offer manuscripts that will appeal to the publisher and at the same time showcase your expertise as a researcher.

Here are some tips on how best to write a research paper fit for a journal publication

Focus on the right journal: There are numerous journals in any specific field of study and all such journals try to differentiate themselves from each other in order to gain relevance and higher impact factor. Identify the differentiating factor each journal tries to develop, the type of articles or publications they tend to give preferences to, the topics they are presently focusing on, and so forth.

It is advised to form a list of journals based on background research and sort them in terms of not only preference (in terms of impact factor) but also relevance to your work. One way to develop it is by reading articles published by these journals, checking how many of your references are from these journals, etc.

Work smart: You have to offer a journal publisher not only good content but also something that adds value to their publication. Check recent issues for topics similar to your research area.; Have they published something too similar and may perhaps reject your work as being repetitive? Or perhaps there is a series of publications as part of a vibrant academic discourse taking place in a journal in which you can add some value?

Stick to basic: Every journal has its own specifications for formatting, article style, charts, and data-work, referencing, etc. it is imperative that you do thorough background work to ensure your research paper meets all these criteria. Remember, publishers are first to reject any article that does not meet their formatting guidelines and you should not give them such an excuse to reject your article.

Introduce yourself: Many authors underplay the importance of a good cover letter. The role of your cover letter is to convince an editor that your research work is worth publishing in their journal. Always refer to the scope and aim of the journal and why you think your article is a good fit for the journal. Refer to the journal audience or letter to editors that you might have come across on the topic to cite greater relevance if you can. This also reflects your level of engagement with the journal as an academician.

Remember, it is always better to have some back-up journal as well and a similar exercise needs to be done separately for that publisher to increase chances of publication.