Understanding Open peer review

Peer review is a critical part of any publication in a respectable journal. However, the entire process of traditional peer review has always been criticized by the academic circle for various reasons. Some of the most common criticisms are:

  • Peer review is a subjective matter that can be both unreliable and inconsistent varying from reviewer to reviewer.
  • There are considerable delays and expenses involved in the entire process, which affect both journals and prospects of the authors.
  • There is a lack of accountability or transparency in the mechanism, leading to challenges of unscrupulous practices by a reviewer, who may choose to subvert publications that might challenge their professional interests.

In contrast to the traditional system of peer review, an alternative structure of open peer review has evolved that has been adopted by many journals today. There does not exist any definite structure to open peer review and there exist various models of open peer review. Some of the most popular forms of open peer review are:

Open Identity Peer review: Under open identity peer review the authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identities. This is in sharp contrast to the conventional peer review system where either the author does not get to know the reviewer or both author and reviewer do not get to know each other’s identity. Open identity peer review supposedly (a) enhance accountability, further enable credit for peer reviewers, and simply make the system fairer (b) increase review quality, as a reviewer puts more effort into their reviews when their names are attached to them.

Open Reports: Under Open reports peer review, the review reports are published alongside the relevant article. This adds another layer of quality assurance, as the reviews are open to the scrutiny of the wider scientific community. Published reviews are recognition for the reviewer as well and can count in their academic records as well.

Open Participation: Open participation peer review, is a “crowdsourced peer review” that allows the wider community to contribute to the review process. Open participation is often used as a complement to a parallel process of solicited peer review and allows for wider access to reviewers who voluntarily contribute as part of enriching the academic discourse.

Open Interaction: Open interaction takes things a step further and is more like a blog format where the author, reviewer, and others can participate in an open conversation on the publication. Allowing interaction amongst authors and multiple reviewers enables a collaborative process to improve their publication.  This may be done in stages, like opening for comment before final publication.

Open peer review is still an evolving process with newer ideas being experimented. However, open peer review is not aimed to completely replace conventional peer review. This is just another form of reviewing for publication that is gaining favor amongst the academic community.

How to Write a Review Article for a Scientific or Academic Journal

Writing a peer review for a journal publication is a very important job. Any journal referring to you for peer review requests your expertise to judge if a review article meets the academic standards for publication. However, peer review is not like evaluating a submission by a student under you. Every reviewer needs to balance the perspective of the author of the publication along with the requirements of the journal.

How to approach reviewing an article

  • Start with first understanding the requirements of the journal. Most journals provide very specific instructions about the types of review articles they publish and what they expect from a reviewer. An academic journal for humanities might want narrative reviews based on the reviewer’s extensive knowledge and experience, whereas a scientific journal may prefer systematic reviews. It is best to discuss with the journal editor what exactly they are looking for from a reviewer.

 

  • Read the review article with an open mind and several times. Do remember the job is not to draft the review article as you would write it. Rather, you have to understand and respect the author’s academic Even if you may disagree with some arguments of the author, it is the author’s right to publish his arguments as long as the author is giving proper academic arguments and evidence. Your job is to ensure the review article is academically sound for journal publication.

 

  • While giving feedback to the author on the review article, remember that your ultimate goal is to discuss what the author needs to do in order to qualify for publication. The point is not to nitpick the manuscript but provide constructive and critical academic feedback that the author can use to improve their study for publication in the journal. Write the type of review you would like to receive if you were the author.

 

  • Draft a template for your review. Start with a summary of the review article that reflects what you understand of the article. This is a good start as it helps sync your thoughts with the author, and also helps the journal Follow it up with a listing of minor or major issues with the review article. Major issues refer to gaps in arguments, academic critique or fundamental questions with the research methodology, etc. Minor issues are missing or misplaced references, technical clarifications, etc. a reviewer can also add some comments addressed to only the journal editor, about issues with language, presentation, any problems with why this review article does not match the journal objectives or any such matters which you want to convey to the journal.

 

Conclusion

A reviewer has a very critical and moral responsibility. It is also an interesting job as it allows one access to the most latest academic work even before it is published. An empathetic and constructive reviewer can help both a journal and an author enrich their academic credentials.

The Process of Publishing a Research paper in a Journal

The publication of a research paper in a journal is a long and painstaking process. It involves many stages that need to be completed at the author’s end before submission to a journal. After submission, there are further steps at the publisher’s end over which the author has no control. In order to get a successful publication in good time, it is important for an author to understand the various steps involved in the process.

It all starts with the draft manuscript. A properly edited research paper, with proper references along with a good title, a short but precise abstract, and a detailed cover letter is the first step.

Any research paper submission for publication in a journal goes through an editorial screening to start with. The authors must ensure their research paper matches the focus area and objectives of the selected journal so that it is not rejected at the first stage. The best way to go about it is to follow the journal’s instructions with precision and consistency. Research papers that clear editorial screening are then forwarded for peer review.

Peer review is often a time-consuming process. Two or more reviewers are usually chosen of which one might be picked from experts the authors suggested as potential reviewers in their initial submission. Those engaging in the peer-review process are professionals from their fields of expertise who have other engagements and hence they often take time to revert back. Reviewers recommend immediate acceptance without changes or immediate rejection without reconsideration, although reconsideration after minor/ major changes is the common response.

The final decision on any research paper is taken by the editor, who reverts back to the author with comments from the editorial team or peer review. The author has to respond to the editor with a revised manuscript along with a detailed letter that explains exactly what changes were made and a compelling academic or scientific reason why certain suggestions were not accommodated.

Depending on the gravity of changes involved, the editor may decide to take a call by themselves or re-share the research paper for the second round of peer review. These processes, even though they delay the publication process, only help improve the quality of the publication and hence are very important.

When the paper is finally accepted by the editor, it goes into production for final checking and reformatting to fit the journal’s conventions and styles. The journal may revert to the author for a final proofread of the final manuscript they design for publication.

in case of a rejection, the journal will convey why the research paper was rejected. The author can take note and either rewrite the research paper to fit the journal or share it with some other journal for consideration.

Conclusion

Clarity over the publication process by a journal is important for authors, and they should prepare accordingly to ensure a smooth publication process.

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.

Attending international conferences and publishing research papers during COVID-19 pandemic

  1. Attending international scientific conferences

Many scientific researchers and scholars are still in doubt about attending international conferences before the development of any efficient vaccine or drug against coronavirus.

In this unusual year for research, scientists are restricted to attend any conferences until further notice. As a result, many international scientific conferences have been canceled. Scientific conferences are the crucial platforms for the researchers to share their work, make contacts, and interact for research collaborations.

As the numbers of positive cases are rising worldwide, public gatherings are being discouraged or banned in order to restrict the spread of the virus.

Many of the conference organizers with the help of participants are organizing conferences in the online platforms by creating virtual conferences and mimicking key components of a physical meeting, such as QAs, ratings, etc.

Advantages of online conference meetings

  • Reduction in paper waste generated from print up copies or leaflets of conference programs by replacing it with Google documents.
  • Online presentations are more sustainable than long-distance conference travel.
  • More efficient conference recordings which can be posted later on.
  • Inviting unlimited guests and participants as there is no space limitation.

 

  1. Publishing your research paper in the right journal

Since the outbreak has begun, the number of articles in the research journals has been skyrocketed. Also, to support global research during the COVID-19 pandemic, many publishers have made their peer review process flexible for articles related to virology, infectious diseases, epidemics, etc.

Under these circumstances, publication in predatory journals are kept on rising.

Here, we are suggesting some of the key points which can be considered when selecting the right journal for your research article during this pandemic:

  • Examine the nature of the journal before submitting your valuable paper to them. Check if they are legit or predatory.
  • The scope of the journal must be considered before submitting the paper to the target journal.
  • The quality of any journal is assessed on the basis of how many abstracting and indexing services cover that journal.
  • The impact factor of a journal is used as an indicator of the significance of a journal in its category (field).
  • A rapid but authentic publication which can shorten the peer-review process.

 

 With the numbers of COVID-19 cases growing exponentially and lockdown in most of countries, researchers can be productive even if they cannot work on their research project at the moment. Attending online conferences and publishing their research work can be a good option for utilizing their valuable time.

Challenges and prospects for publishing articles

A doctorate is a mission that one has to complete overcoming all the obstacles. The very first thing that a doctor needs to do is think positively; this would motivate them all along the way. However, when it comes to writing research papers, researchers ought to keep certain things in mind to make their paper published in a good journal. The challenges to be prevailing over to publish in high-quality journals have been robustly present in nurses’ professional life.

Following the below points would probably help a doctor to achieve his purpose without difficulty:

Better Concentration

Lack of focus or direction is one of the major things that drift research. Hence, it would be wise if you communicate with your guide to help you write your research proposal. Rework your project plan to bring a crystal clear image of your project.

Proper utilization of time

From the very beginning try and spend enough time planning your project. Make sure you review them with intervals, make proper changes and keep it update; this would help you focus your work better and complete your manuscript at proper time.

Generating and consolidating an idea

While doing your doctorate, it is quite obvious to drop your self-confidence; therefore try to acknowledge your achievements, seek positive feedbacks, and explore your creativities in some other work. This would rejuvenate you for your work. Generating an original idea follows significant knowledge use about the theme, directly affecting the skilled development of this conception and innovating its construction.

Grammar and Punctuation

Writing in good English is yet another factor that researchers have to go keep in mind to publish their paper with less time. Hence, using language suitable to the theme’s intricacy is a requirement.

Common Reasons Why a Research Paper Gets Rejected by Journals

Publishing industry is enormous and authors are open to choose the appropriate journal for submission. Though, there are thousands of journals to choose from, the rejection is common in scholarly publishing. The rejection causes demotivation among researchers, who dedicate months in designing and writing a perfectly molded paper.

Here, we have focused on the common mistakes for which academic papers are rejected by journals.

Technical screening

Manuscripts submitted to a reputed high impact academic journal undergo severe scrutiny even before they are screened by the editorial board members and reviewers.

The primary causes of their rejection at this stage are:

  • The paper is not relevant to the journal’s readers or are not under the aims and scope of the journal
  • Paper lacks novelty in the relevant field
  • Plagiarized content
  • Ethical concerns
  • Unavailability of Informed consent forms of subjects
  • If similar research papers are already under consideration
  • The paper has not been prepared based on the journal’s guidelines
  • Incomplete materials (If the author hasn’t provided the mandatory documents)

 

Peer review process

After the initial screening, the editors assign the reviewers to initiate the peer-review process. In the peer-review a comprehensive critical analysis of the high-quality papers takes place.

The primary causes of their rejection at this stage are:

  • The aim is unclear and introduction part lacks clarity
  • Use of insignificant or outdated procedures or methodology
  • Statistical analysis of the data is inadequate and weak
  • Illogical or unstructured arguments
  • The data does not support the conclusions
  • Insufficient data failing to produce significant result
  • Poor writing or contains too much jargons
  • Inconsistencies in the writing with grammatical and spelling errors

 

Quality of figures and other issues

  • If author has failed to obtain written consent of the participants before/during the research.
  • Conflict of interest declaration, copyright issues, plagiarized data and other ethical concerns associated with the research paper.
  • The journal may not have the space for the paper
  • The paper is incompetent with the high standards of other papers submitted to the journal
  • Non-archival data and of insignificant value to the journal
  • Poorly designed and irrelevant repetition tables or figures

Whatever the reasons, make sure that you read the feedback in depth and reflect on it. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback, it’s still important to understand why someone else might have thought that. Hence, knowing and accepting the reasons of rejection by the journal can significantly enhance the chance of publication in the next attempt.

Selecting the right journal for publication

Authors need to optimize between many criterions before reaching a conclusion to publish a paper. You need to follow few tips to select the best journal for publication. Firstly, make a list of the journals available. Subsequently check the impact of the journal, confirm the requirement of journal, and verify the journals’ peer-review process. Following the above points in mind you can proceed to choose the best probable journal for your publication.

Reference Link: https://blog.typeset.io/choose-right-journal-early-stage-researchers-guide-ea2cf236dde4

How to understand the quality of a journal article?

If you are an author with experience of publishing articles or are fairly new, you have to decide and determine whether or not your article has the top-notch quality or not. In the theoretical framework of your thesis, you support your research work with something called a literature review. In this case, you look at the research that is done on a similar subject as yours, before you have published.

Why is the quality of an article so important?

As you may know, there are hundreds of articles published by journals, the editors at the journal are extremely busy people and they might just spot one little mistake and discard your hard work or ask you to redo some parts of it. Pre determining the quality of work is crucial if you want to save time, money and resources.

Following are some points that will help you get a hold of this:

  1. Where are the articles being published?

It is important to know in which journal the article has been published. There are many journals out there that will promise you exposure to the community and what not but only a few of them have the reputation that you really want. It might be difficult for you get through some of the big names in the publishing business but doing your bid of research can help you identify the next best journal suited to your needs. Also always look out of indexed journals.

  1. What is the date of the article that is published?

As you may already know that more importance is given to the recent and more updated pieces of research papers or articles. This is not to discourage that your work is any less than other or the fact that a new work is superior but that is a common overview of the industry.

  1. Have you come across other opinions on the article?

What are other researchers saying about the particular paper? People who are writing them are they credible? These are some of the important questions you need to ask while you choose an article to do your work on. Opinions or reviews of the article will also save you a lot of time that you could utilize on your own article.

  1. Dig a little deeper

A paper that is published in a reputed journal will definitely have relevant citations to substantiate their study. If the article you followed does not help you the way you wanted it to, you may find your calling with the papers and articles that are cited in the first work you followed.

  1. Let’s score it

Using the above-mentioned parameters, you may now score the paper. You may do it on a piece of paper, use a white board or just remember it—whatever floats your boat. You should always spend more time on understanding the quality of the journal before you apply it to your work. How does this help?  Scoring is just a way to understand the paper you are interested in. the only thing that matters with doing this exercise is to understand if an article is worth your time and energy.

Alzheimer’s Association And Wiley Collaborate For Publishing

John Wiley and Sons Inc. and the Alzheimer’s Association partnered for their three publications namely Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association (A&D), Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring (DADM), and Translational Research & Clinical Interventions (TRCI).

The journals will changeover to the Wiley Online Library platform after the publication of the November/December 2019 issue. Maria C. Carrillo, a Ph.D. holder and Chief Science officer of Alzheimer’s Association says “The Association is committed to accelerating the international effort to eliminate these devastating diseases, and these journals are an important forum for sharing the latest research about Alzheimer’s and related dementias with the global scientific community.”

Reference Link: https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/all-corporate-news/alzheimers-association-and-wiley-announce-publishing-partnership