Why would anyone want to become a peer review? This job is often not paid and can be pretty demanding. The answer is clear – in science, it’s not all about the money. When you become a peer reviewer, it’s some kind of honor. It means that your colleagues and relevant institutions have accepted you as a recognized expert in your field of expertise. For someone who is a pioneer in science, this will look pretty good in the resume.
How to make editors notice you? The good thing is that this job is not for everyone. There’s a lack of experts to do the revision of the academic papers. This increases your chances of getting this assignment, but you shouldn’t rely on your lucky star. Candidates have to meet pretty high standards, but there are many ways how to increase your chances.
1. Don’t Wait – Act!
Young and still unacknowledged scientists must have an active approach to a job search. There is a small chance that editors will notice your work, it’s always better to prove yourself as a man of action.
Don’t be afraid to make the first step, but be sure to check what the editors require from peer reviewers. If you feel you fit into the profile, get in touch with the editorial board, and show the initiative and the will to work. Prepare a good portfolio of your publications that you will send them along with the application. Making a good first impression is crucial, and your writings are your trademark.
2. Get Recommendations
The first stop is your mentor or supervisor. If you want to become a reviewer, you’ll probably need their help. If you have a decent career, their reference can be of great significance. The same goes for senior colleagues who can give you some recommendations. They can connect you to editors of scientific journals, authors of acknowledged scholarly works, and other relevant people from your field of interest.
If you attend scientific conferences, make an effort to establish contacts both with editors and authors. Authors can give a suggestion to editors to pay attention to you. Sometimes they don’t have the time to check every single application, so they just ask for a recommendation.
It’s a good tip to ask around. Get in touch with colleagues who already do peer review. Spread the word that you want to do this; you never know who can help you. Offer them your services, of course, on a voluntary basis.
3. Provide High-Quality Paper
Editors will note good content, especially those in whose journal your works can be found. As someone with a quality publication, you certainly have the competence for a peer reviewer in your field of work. With an impressive portfolio, you can get a recommendation even from colleagues researchers.
Editors need peer reviewers of wide knowledge (see our article about: why is peer review important and the basics of peer review ). If you have continuity in publishing quality scholarly work, it means that you follow the trends and progress in your field of research. As someone who’s always up-to-date, the editors will perceive you as a person who can provide high-standard reviews.
Nowadays, publications are usually published in online versions of the journal. Following the principles of SEO – the use of keywords, external and internal links, as well as the use of citations and references from relevant sources – you make your work visible in an online search.
4. Try Different Approaches
Try to get the attention of the editor in a variety of ways. Many online magazines and platforms offer the possibility for their users to give their opinion on published studies, something like post-publication review.
Leaving professional, constructive, and objective comments, you can work on your critical skills. Also, you can write professional blogs in which you give your vision of some scholarly work. With enough references, a good article can attract the attention of publishers.
Read more on how to be a good peer reviewer?
5. Never Give Up
In a peer review, persistence is not a key – it’s more about the timing. If you bother the editors, you leave the impression of a foolish person. Even if someone rejects you, always ‘leave the door open.’ Maybe the opportunity will come again after a while. Always contact several editorial boards.
It’s not a rule that every expert can be a peer reviewer. Expertise is the essential requirement, but other qualities, like an open mind and giving constructive critics, are desirable too. If you work on your approach and do not give up easily, you can find a great way to improve your career standings. You will always be up to date with the latest events in your research area, and you can fix your skills in writing and presenting your own works.