Reviewing is an essential part before submitting the scientific research journals. It requires investment of time and a certain skill set. It is important for you to know everything about the peer review process before accepting a review request. You must have enough skills and you should know how to conduct a review.
What do reviewers do?
Before submissions, reviewers must evaluate papers and publications based on the requirements. The reviewer looks to see if the article follows the following rules:
- Predefined criteria
- Accuracy of the research
They provide detailed and insightful feedback on the paper. They also assist with adjustments and provide appropriate recommendations. They also provide a full analysis of why the item was accepted, rejected, or required modifications. The reviewers have a substantial impact on the final result. Whereas the editor is the one who makes the ultimate choice, the editor is the one who makes the final decision.
Importance of Reviewing
It is, however, a time-consuming process with numerous advantages. The editor’s job is done once the piece is delivered, but reviewers must go over the entire document and make any necessary adjustments. Understanding the article’s primary ideas and purpose is more significant than simply reading it.
- ensure the rigorous standards of the scientific process by taking part in the peer-review system.
- uphold the integrity of the journal by identifying invalid research, and helping to maintain the quality of the journal.
- fulfill a sense of obligation to the community and their own area of research.
- establish relationships with reputable colleagues and their affiliated journals, and increase their opportunities to join an Editorial Board.
- can help prevent ethical breaches by identifying plagiarism, research fraud, and other problems by dint of their familiarity with the subject area.
- reciprocate professional courtesy, as authors and reviewers are often interchangeable roles – as reviewer, researchers “repay” the same consideration they receive as authors.
Conducting a review
Conducting a review is more difficult than it appears. It is critical to first comprehend the motivation. If the manuscript you’re reading contains an experiment, start with the procedures section. It is equally crucial to comprehend the topic of the article/manuscript.
The following cases are considered major flaws and should be changed –
- Unsound methodology
- Discredited method
- Missing processes are known to be influential on the area of reported research
- A conclusion drawn in contradiction to the statistical or qualitative evidence reported in the manuscript
The methodology can assist you in examining the sample report, which is required in time-dependent investigations, in a precise and proper manner. Always present a methodical data analysis as well as enough descriptive pieces with pertinent quotes. Quotes from interviewees can be added in addition to the author’s narrative for better qualitative research.
Research data and visualizations
Examine any data in the form of figures, tables, or photographs once you’re sure that the technique is sound. Authors can include research data, such as data visualizations, in their submissions to allow readers to interact and engage more intimately with their work once it has been published. As a result, please be aware that connections to data may be present in the submission files. During the peer-review process, you should also pay attention to these items.
In relation to our database linkage scheme, manuscripts may additionally contain database identifiers or accession numbers (e.g. genes). No such concerns should arise; instead, be prepared ahead of time and ignore anything that could cause a conflict. Critical issues in research data, which are considered to be major flaws can be related to insufficient data points, statistically non-significant variations and unclear data tables.
Experiments including patient or animal data should properly be documented. Most journals require ethical approval by the author’s host organization. Please check journal-specific guidelines for such cases (available from the journal’s homepage).
Give yourself a break and don’t let any stress affect the review process. If you don’t spot any major flaws, take a break from the manuscript and try to focus on the same later. You might be surprised to see you’re your overview will change when you are in fresh mind. Consider the article from your own perspective. When you sit down to write the review, again make sure you familiarize yourself with any journal-specific guidelines.
How to structure your review
The review will assist the editor in determining whether or not the piece should be published. Giving an overall honest assessment based on general observation is an important component of the process. It will also assist the author in improving their manuscript. There should be no ad hominem statements or personal information in the comments, and they should be kind and constructive. It shouldn’t include your name and should be acceptable and descriptive (unless the journal you are invited to review for employs open peer review) Any study article will benefit from providing insight into any flaws. You should explain and support your decision so that both editors and authors understand why you made it. The inclusion of statistics can help more. Indicating whether the comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data and evidence will help in better submission.
Manuscripts submitted for review must be treated as private papers. Without permission from the editor, reviewers must not discuss the review or any other information about the research article with anyone else, nor should they contact the authors directly. Some editors encourage brainstorming sessions with coworkers or peer review exercises. However, reviewers should first consult with the editor to verify that the information is kept confidential and that the participants are properly credited.
Without the author’s express written approval, unpublished materials described in a submitted manuscript may not be used in a reviewer’s own research. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Reviews should be carried out with a level of objectivity. Support should be delivered in the right, proper, and accurate manner, and suggestions and viewpoints should be accompanied by supporting arguments. When reading a document, reviewers should be conscious of any personal bias they may have an account for it. During the submission of a scientific research journal, personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.
Before agreeing to examine an article, reviewers should contact the Editor. There should be no competing, collaborative, or other affiliations or links with any of the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the publications.
In any event, the reviewer should not be biased or partial. If a reviewer recommends that citations to any scientific research journal be included, it must be for legitimate scientific reasons. The goal of a reviewer should not be to increase the number of citations or increase the visibility of their work.
Alertness to Ethical Issues
A reviewer should be familiar with all of the ethical problems raised in the study report. Reviewers should always be alert and should bring these to the attention of the editor. This could include any significant similarity or overlap between the manuscript under review and any other published research study of which the reviewer is personally aware.
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Editors benefit from peer review while making editing judgments. The editor may also assist the other author in refining the article through editorial dialogue. Peer review is an important part of formal scholarly communication and is crucial to the scientific method. Reviewers are given responsibility and are expected to follow proper reviewing etiquette in addition to the specific ethics-related obligations. Any referee who believes they are unqualified to examine the research described in a paper should notify the editor. If any referee learns that a timely review is impossible, they should inform the editor and decline to participate in the review process.