In our earlier post, we discussed the philosophy behind peer reviewing of academic journals and why many reviewers refuse to peer review demand by journal editorial staff members. We also highlighted the problems involving peer reviewed journals and why we need a paradigm shift to deal with these issues. Monetary compensation for peer reviewer is a solution provided by PeerViewer – where the specialist can get paid by editors when they assess research articles of scholarly sources for journal publications (watch the video below). The payment received by reviewers won’t get them rich, but it’s an expression of thanks for their service, time and hard work.
It’s important that the traditional peer reviewing approach must certainly be modified and experts together with journal editors should embrace this new perspective. Hiring a freelance expert is part of an evolution of peer-reviewed journal publishing. In the advent of open access journal publishing and online journals, the criterion for peer reviewing may differ considerably between publishing establishment. But the fundamentals of peer review process always stay the same. In this article, we are going to discuss the principles behind quality peer review and the known ethical routines for peer review.
Below are some crucial standards to remember as you carry out the review:
Competence and strong background
This is the most important aspect of journal peer review process. You should undertake honest self-investigation whether this manuscript falls into the background related to your knowledge. If it’s outside of your discipline and knowledge, it’s better to allow someone else to do the review. Declining a review for whatever explanation is fine as long as you do it immediately. You don’t risk delaying the process when declining on time and it is essential to recommend several alternative peer reviewers to the editor. You can find and recommend several highly motivated expert reviewers at PeerViewer.com where editors can invite reviewers from the website directly for free.
It’s essential that you make an effort to get back a review within the designated deadline. Consider your schedule whether you have time to review a paper. You are probably busy with your original research activities or simply you just want to use your time to other important matters like writing funding applications and teaching plans especially if you are a faculty or the professor heading a research center. For new researchers such as Ph.D. or Postdocs, you might need to put the extra time to acquaint yourself with some literary works and methods that you will find new to you. Bear in mind that complex articles take more time to assess.
Sometimes, complicated subjects would take about 8 or 10 hours (spread out over several days) at the top of your busy schedule i.e. coursework, teaching, research, writing etc., and another 4 hours to assess the revised version. If you don’t believe you can apportion enough time to the review to reach the deadline, you should decline right away. But always remember to recommend several highly motivated expert reviewers at PeerViewer.com to editors when declining a peer review request. You can try to ask for an extension, before accepting the invitation. But then again, this will delay the publishing process. Author’s research professions may on jeopardy depending on how fast their papers are accepted and published.
Peer review professionalism and quality assurance
In the scientific community, peer review is the filter or quality assurance. The definition of peer reviewing as described by San Diego State University (SDSU) involves your duty as experts to remain professional of your work. Peer review means that a board of scholarly reviewers in the subject area of the journal, evaluate the materials they publish for the quality of research and adherence to editorial standards of the journal before articles are accepted for publication. It means that indirectly, even peer reviewers are not employed (work for free) by publishing company, they actually enhance the standard of the journal by improving the quality of papers scrutinized by peer reviewer.
Hence the peer reviewed papers get more citations and as a consequence increasing the impact factor of the journal. Thanks to peer reviewer. Therefore, don’t just accept on a peer review papers, else you might perform a lousy job; read it and be critical. Your hard work to review essentially help the authors to enhance the quality of their manuscript, and contribute to the overall quality of the journal.
Don’t be threatened and avoid bias
Keep in mind that peer reviewing is a place where academic hierarchy is implicit. You might be asked to review a manuscript whose authors are the biggest names within the field. Nevertheless, you should remember that all experts even the professor you evaluate in rate my professor started with a humble beginning. Even though they are at the top of the field, that doesn’t mean that they can’t commit mistakes in their analysis and findings.
Thus, your role as a peer reviewer is essential to avoid hierarchical discrimination. When you have a strong positive or negative feeling about any of the authors, then you should refrain to review the manuscript. Consider not review a manuscript if you have any possible conflict of interest with those authors in the past. If in doubt, declare your possible conflict before agreeing to the review. You can always recommend several highly motivated expert reviewers at PeerViewer.com to editors when declining a peer review request so they can either ask or hire other experts. It is not advisable to review a manuscript with the intent of gaining personal or professional benefits.
Here you go! Those are the most crucial criteria to consider prior to engaging your time to carry out the peer review. In addition, a peer reviewer should respect confidentiality. It requires not to disclose any information regarding the manuscripts you are reviewing such as results, methods, and findings with other researcher or to the public in general. You should not use information from the manuscript prior to its publication. Never communicate with the authors about the review progress of their manuscript. Opinions and comments should only be reported to the journal editor.
Evidently, peer reviewing could be an extremely overwhelming endeavor, but you will certainly develop with practice and hard work! Peer reviewing is an excellent way to enhance your critical skills and gaining more knowledge on the field you are interested. The scientific community requires a lot from our peer reviewers. In the past, it was viewed as a sort of civic obligation to the broader scientific community. Nevertheless, it’s important to emphasize that your time as an expert is gold and the skills and expertise were built over time cost you a lot of money.
Therefore, you should examine whether it is fair that some journal demands publishing fee while they get the peer review for free. In a scientific rationality, it’s time to take a paradigm shift. In our opinion, it’s time that peers reviewed journal publisher should reward peer reviewers. The publisher should hire a reviewer using the PeerViewer platform, in that way reviewing process is faster, more responsive and motivating, resulting in high-quality publication, increasing journal impact.