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The good peer review process

This is a non-peer reviewed Scienchar Post.

A good peer-review process is the most important thing in research publications. It is the deciding factor of the quality of published research. Any failure in the peer review process can result in incorporating poor-quality research in the literature and hence, degrading the quality of whole publication. Sometimes, being too choosy can be harmful too as it can keep valuable research from publishing due to null results or any other minor reasons. Also, same research has to be submitted to many publications which result in overburdening on reviewers to review the same journal.

Having a good peer review helps authors to get constructive and elaborative feedback from the persons in the same field which helps them to make constant improvement in their research.  Research can be peer-reviewed by the reviewers of the different disciplinary field also. So, reviewers must keep in mind the norms of the discipline they are reviewing as a different discipline can have different norms of writhing manuscript. For this, they must focus on objective things like data and not on subjective ones like the framing of manuscript.

Some tips for a good peer review process are stated below:

  1. Always respond to the peer-review request. It’s your decision whether to accept or decline afterward and if you are declining, use this as an opportunity to suggest alternate reviewers to editors.
  2. Your comments should be useful for both editors to decide whether to accept paper or not and to author in getting constructive feedback on his/her paper.
  3. First, focus on objective elements like data and approach. If data, research methodology and approach are right, then the problem with presentation and implementation will not be hectic and can be fixed easily.
  4. Your work is to evaluate manuscripts given to you. Don’t insist authors to write the manuscript you would have written instead.
  5. Check whether all the information needed to support research and interpret results in available or not. Many journals demand all data be made available.
  6. Its reviewer’s job to check whether the manuscript is written clearly, all the figures are clear, abstract summarizes the manuscript well; results are explained clearly or not and so on. The reviewer ensures the paper’s value by giving appropriate feedback.
  7. Being a reviewer, you just have to make suggestions to the editor and author if the language is not clear or the readability of research paper is not good and difficult to understand the scientific content. It’s not your duty to manually edit the paper yourself.
  8. You should also focus on paper ethics, transparency, plagiarism, research integrity, etc. other than just paper contents and must raise a red flag to the editor concerning them.
  9. Before submitting your final review, you must go through it once. Check whether it is put straight forward, constructive, professional and polite. It must not contain confusing terms or jargons.
  10. Do not share your personal details in attachments unless you are willing to unveil your name to the authors.