When you get a chance to publish an academic paper, research, or to present some new concept to the competent audience, that process is long and detailed. It can take a while from writing to the publication of your work.

Quite often, the author will have to make some changes. Scientific journals reject nearly half of the papers submitted in the first shot.

Reviewers are people appreciated in their business circles (see also: how to become a peer reviewer). They must have, at least, similar qualifications as the author. Given the sphere of study, the authors of the publication have to follow the rules and regulations for publishing in specialized journals. The research should have an impressive concept, to present something new and unseen so far.

Peer reviewers should be experts in their field. They are of great help when publishers have to decide whether to accept a publication or not. In very few cases, academic papers are published in the original version. Because of their high standard of publication, they won’t accept writings of poor quality.

What Is the Goal of Peer Review?

The main goal of peer review is that the final version of the work meets the high standards prescribed for the particular research field. Creator, reviewers, and the publisher want to show the best version to attract the audience. It also has o be convincing to those who decide on the future of the research, whether it will get funds or not.

The team of peer reviewers does all the checks thoroughly. Their critics are like a “filter,” following the prescribed regulations and principles (whether the work is unique, presents something new, or it initiates further research, etc.).

Peer Review Process

After the author sends scholarly work to publishers, these have to gather an expert team of people (usually three) who will check those writings. Some journals, before a detailed review, are examining whether the content is a copy. Plagiarism is the biggest NO in academic papers. Also, data and statistics have to be original and proven.

Read more on the basics of peer review.

Finally, peer analysts must check whether the content is understandable and logical. The reviewers then send a report to the publisher, so as the recommendations for the next steps. If they approved the work, but it is necessary to do some changes before publishing, the author will get suggestions and advice on how to polish the writing. It won’t be published until the entire team of reviewers agree about it.

Reviewers’ Tasks

The academic paper and research that are the subjects of the audit have a quality bias. Reviewers are in charge to define whether it belongs to the journal’s area of research and whether the topic processed has a value for the particular scientific field.

One of the most important things is a detailed analysis of the methodology used in the research – whether it is something innovative and whether it is possible to predict the results. If the work is only based on facts, and not supported with firm evidence, there is no purpose publishing or financing it.

Only the best writing will become a part of scholarly journals or they will get funds for further research. The possibility of the wrong distribution of funds is decreased because peer reviewers choose the work of the highest quality in every sense.

Examining can sometimes require the testing of humans or animals. Before critics check the work, they must consider the ethics of this act. At the end of the assessment, peer reviewers give their final judgment – whether the author has to make some changes in the work, and to what extent, or the publisher should accept publication, without the additional changes.

Read more on how to be a good reviewer?

Rejected Work

The final decision is on publishers. After experts finished the review, they send a report, whether to publish the paper, wait for the correction, or reject it. Peer reviewer can say ‘no’ to publishing, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the writing is not good. Maybe a creator missed the point. If changes are required, reviewers give useful suggestions to the author on how to improve the work.

Publishing standards vary from journal to journal. Some are more rigorous, while others accept scholarly works that partially meet the criteria. For example, some journals don’t require an innovative methodology at all; only to apply specific rules in research. Therefore, the authors shouldn’t lose their faith after one rejection.

Approaches in Peer Review

The principle of anonymity in peer review is essential. It is an unwritten rule among the scientists – colleagues must help one another because they all work together for some higher purpose. Specialists doing a review don’t get extra pay for that, but reviewers can have other benefits. For example, they can access the journal’s database in a specific period and use information and research as references.

There are two ways which publishers usually ask for. What will be used depends on the policy of the editorial board, but also on the author’s request to preserve the anonymity. There are many approaches, but the most used are one-blind and double-blind peer reviews.

A single-blind peer-review protects the identity of those who do the revision, while the information about the author is visible. A second type, double-blind review, hides the name of both sides, making the report absolutely objective. Manipulations are not possible, because the author can’t get in touch with the reviewers. Thus can’t make them change their reports.