Peer Review- A decisive stage in publication

Peer Review- A decisive stage in publication

Peer review is an ubiquitous feature of science with three interrelated roles: first, as a mechanism to assess quality through expert judgement (process); second, to decide on the distribution of scarce resources, e.g. publication space (outcome); and, third, to self-govern science (context) [1].

Peer review has been defined as a process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field [2].

Addressing peer review comments is a critical stage in the publication process. It’s common to feel anxious about this step, as it marks the initial interaction with experts who uphold the journal’s quality, even if they aren’t the final decision-makers.

The top 10 Commandments for response

  1. Consider the first round of review as the ultimate opportunity for refinement.
  2. Convince the reviewer through your compelling arguments that a second review will not be necessary.
  3. Embrace constructive criticism and use it to improve your work.
  4. Peer review presents a valuable opportunity akin to a second chance that should be utilized effectively. It provides a platform for enhancing the manuscript and refining its quality.
  5. Show kindness and empathy by empathizing with the reviewer’s perspective and understanding their viewpoint.
  6. Employ an appropriate tone to avoid sounding offended or offensive.
  7. Reviewing the comments from reviewers can evoke feelings of panic and stress. However, it’s important to remain calm and respond to the comments appropriately.
  8. Demonstrate your responses by incorporating the changes made in line with the reviewer’s expectations.
  9. Ensure you thoroughly address all reviewer comments, as they’re likely to resurface in subsequent stages, potentially irritating the reviewer if left unattended.
  10. Feel free to seek advice and opinions from academics, mentors, and friends.

If asked to change something you were strongly confident about in your research paper, you might feel the urge to defend it. While outright disagreement isn’t advisable, if you have a strong argument or rationale, you can present it with clarity and precision. Additionally, consider the reviewer’s criticism deeply and explore alternatives that align better with their perspective.

1. Reinhart, M., & Schendzielorz, C. (2024). Peer-review procedures as practice, decision, and governance—the road to theories of peer review. Science and Public Policy, scad089.
2. Kelly, J., Sadeghieh, T., & Adeli, K. (2014). Peer review in scientific publications: benefits, critiques, & a survival guide. Ejifcc25(3), 227.

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