In any findings or publication with regard to scientific methodologies, PEER review is the major component. It is the basic philosophy which is based on the idea that an individuals research needs to go through the scrutiny of the subject matter expert before it gets presented and accepted to a larger scientific community.
Reviewers or referees are individuals who are experts and knowledgeable in a particular field or topic. These referees have the required knowledge and experience in evaluating whether a given study procedures are proper, the outcome is accurate, and the interpretation of the results of the authors are valid and reasonable. Also, reviewers need to alert journal editors to any kind of problem that arise and make suitable recommendations to see whether the given article can be accepted or returned to the author for revision or rejected.
The following are some of the basic criteria that you have to keep in mind while reviewing scientific and academic findings or articles –
● Timeline:- As a reviewer, you need to put in a great amount of effort in reviewing contents within the specific time. You have to specify the specific deadline within which you would finish reviewing the content. The research career of any individual depends on how quickly his or her paper is published. Make sure to take into consideration of your schedule before you decide to review a paper.
● Expert Knowledge:- An important thing that you need to ask yourself honestly is whether the given paper falls or is within your scope of expertise. In case if it is far outside from your basis of knowledge and discipline, then it is much better if you allow it to be reviewed by some other reviewer. Once you decline to review a particular study or finding (whatever reason it maybe), it is courteous to suggest the names of alternative referees to the editorial board members.
● Seriousness:- Never consider PEER reviewing as an insignificant practice, as it is the heart of the scientific process. In order for this process to work, the review has to be rigorous. You should not simply sign off on the papers or just do a simple slapdash job. Make sure to read it properly and critically. Your review has to assist the author and help him or her to improve the quality of the manuscript and side by side contribute to the overall quality of the given journal in which it is going to be published.
● Bias:- As a reviewer, it is very much necessary that you should not review the manuscript if you have a strong feeling about the author. Whether it is negative or positive feeling towards the article or author, you need to be unbiased. In addition, you should never review the given manuscript with the intention of gaining professional or personal benefits from it.
● Avoid Intimidation:- Always keep in mind that reviewing is a place where one has to avoid the implicit hierarchy of academia. The person who wrote the manuscript may be the biggest individual in the academic or given field, but it doesnt automatically give the credibility that their article should be published at any cost.
● Confidentiality;- It is important that you never hand out the information present in the manuscript to outsiders before it is published. The results, methods, and findings of the manuscript have to be confidential during the PEER review. Also, any discrepancies and doubts have to be informed to the editorial board members first. Make sure to channel all the comments and thoughts to the editors.
Frankly, going through the above given process can help in assisting you to become a good academic PEER reviewer. It can be a tough task, but you do have to keep in mind that as a reviewer you are making a great contribution to the field of scientific and academic process and findings.
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