Importance of Peer-Review Essay

Importance of Peer-Review Essay

Besancon et al (2020), defined peer review as the process of subjecting ideas, research or any other forms of scholarly work to scrutiny by experts of the same field. It is meant to achieve two main objectives. First, it ensures that only high-quality research articles are published by determining the originality, significance, and validity of the study (Hall et al, 2019). Secondly, according to Oerther & Watson (2019), peer-reviewing targets to improve the quality of studies that are slated for publication. The peer-reviewers provide recommendations to authors on how they can improve their research papers. They also identify any errors that should be corrected before the manuscript is published. This essay will describe the importance of peer-review and how to determine if the information is peer-reviewed. It will also choose two other criteria for determining quality information and develop a discussion like the peer-review requirement. But first, it is important to have a brief overview of the history of peer-reviewing.

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Historical Background of Peer Reviewing

Peer-reviewing emerged long before the emergence of scholarly journals. The peer-reviewing process was first described by a medic called Ishaq bin Ali al-Rahwi of Syria in his book called Ethics of the Physician (Shatz, 2004). There, the author stated that physicians should take notes that describe the state of their patient’s medical conditions on each visit. However, the institutionalized and systematized form of peer-reviewing immensely developed after the Second World War, especially because of the increased scientific research during that period (Ware, 2008). Peer-reviewing is now not only used to ensure the ethical and experimental soundness of the manuscripts but also to determine which papers the journal’s originality quality standards before publication.

Peer-reviewing has had a significant impact on the scholarly publication system. According to Bradley & Thouesny (2017), it presents as an efficient and effective way of ensuring that other experts in the field scrutinize a piece of work. As a result, authors are encouraged to produce high-quality research papers that will uplift the quality standards of research within a field of study. Furthermore, Martínez-López et al (2019) argued that peer-reviewing maintains and supports the authenticity and integrity of scientific advancement. This explains why a scientific hypothesis may not be generally accepted unless sit is published in a peer-reviewed journal. For instance, the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) only considers peer-reviewed journal articles a those that can receive Impact Factors. Nonetheless, peer-reviewing is an established scientific process that has been an integral part of scientific communication for nearly 300 years now.

The Process of Peer-Reviewing

Peer-reviewing generally begins when an author completes conducting their research and writes a report of the findings. Typically, the report captures the study purpose, research design, findings, and conclusion. The author then submits the paper to a suitable journal that specializes in the study’s respective field of study – a process also known as pre-submission (Spector 2020). The Journal’s auditors will review the paper to ensure that its subject matter aligns with the journal’s subject area, and to ensure that it fits the journal’s editorial platform. Very few papers pass the pre-submission stage (Besancon et al, 2020 Importance of Peer-Review Essay).

In case the journal editors feel that the paper meets the journal’s criteria and is based on credible sources, they will send the paper to experienced researchers in the field to formally review the paper. From here onwards, the editor’s role is to select the most appropriate papers for the journal, implement and monitor the peer-reviewing process. Their main responsibility is to ensure that the peer-reviewing is conducted in a timely, efficient and fair manner. they must also ensure that the integrity of the peer-reviewing is not derailed by the conflict of interest.

Upon receiving a paper, a peer reviewer scrutinizes and reads the paper carefully to examine the quality and appropriateness of research methods, as well as the validity of science in it. the reviewer also evaluates the significance of the study by judging whether the work will make any contribution to the advancement of knowledge through its findings and originality. Furthermore, the reviewers must identify all the missing or incorrect scientific references within the manuscript. Afterwards, the peer reviewer gives recommendations to the editor as to whether the manuscript should be accepted, rejected or improved before being officially published in the journal.

The editor will therefore act as the intermediary between the author and the peer reviewers in the process of discussing various referee requests, improvement suggestions or overruling reviewer’s recommendations that may be beyond the journal’s scope. in case the manuscript is accepted as per the reviewer’s recommendations, then it moves to the production stage, where it is edited, formatted and tweaked by the editors for final publication into the scientific journal.

Identifying a Peer-Reviewed Paper

There are several ways of examining a manuscript to ascertain that is peer-reviewed. The first and most direct method is by visiting a journal’s website, locating the article in question and evaluating what the publishers say about the article – whether it is peer-reviewed or not. Secondly, with the advancement in technology, some websites help in identifying articles’ peer-reviewed status. For instance, Ulrichsweb.com maintains a database of all peer-reviewed articles and therefore finding the article in question through the website means that the article is peer-reviewed (Kelly et al, 2014).

In case the two methods fail to work, one may need to physically examine the manuscript to ascertain its peer-review status. This can be done by locating the publication’s masthead, which often consists of a box on either the end or front of the periodical and contain various publication information such as subscription cost, place of publication, name of editors and whether the publication is peer-reviewed.

Types of Peer Reviewing And Their Advantages

There are three types of peer-reviewing namely: single-blind review, open review and double-blind review. In an open review, both the author and reviewer know each other. In a single-blind review, the author’s identity is revealed while the reviewer’s identity is concealed. Lastly, in a double-blind review, both the author’s and the reviewer’s identities are concealed (Martínez-López et al, 2019). the following table identifies the advantages and disadvantages of these three types of reviews:

Type of review Advantages Disadvantages
Open Review ·       Prevents the reviewer from being careless, procrastinating the review process or leaving malicious comments (Bradley & Thouesny, 2017)

·       The reviewers can be honest and open without being disrespectful

discourages plagiarism

·       Can prevent reviewers from being honest because they may seek to develop a rapport with the author (Besancon et al, 2020). The reviewer may therefore withhold their criticism
Single Blind review ·       Reviewer is more likely to give honest review because their identity is concealed (Kelly et al, 2014).

 

·       Reviewers who receive papers within their subject of interest may delay the review to publish their data first (Bradley & Thouesny, 2017).
Double – blind Review ·       Prevents reviewer biasness based on previous work or their own country of origin because the paper is judged based on the content rather than the author’s reputation (Bradley & Thouesny, 2017 Importance of Peer-Review Essay). ·       In niche research areas, the reviewer may easily identify the author’s identity based on self-citation, subject matter, or writing style and this may create bias.

Alternatives to Peer-Reviewing

Considering the above-mentioned disadvantages of various types of peer-reviewing, some scholars have grown an appetite for an alternative to the standard peer-reviewed process. This section identifies some of those alternatives, their pros and cons.

Bidding for Reviewing

One of the main frustrations with peer-reviewing occurs when the reviewer is unfamiliar or unmotivated with the manuscript’s subject matter. However, during scientific conferences, this problem is dealt with by allowing some members of a technical program to bid to review manuscripts based on abstracts and titles. In this way, according to Besancon et al (2020), every program team member can be sure to review a paper that meets their expertise. Here, the role of an editor would be to ensure that the bidding process runs smoothly and that the process of assigning articles to referees runs smoothly.

Through online computer systems such as e-scripts, the abstracts and titles are publicly posted online and for a few weeks, reviewers can bid for the manuscripts that are of their interest. After a specified time, the public bidding process is closed, and the editor sends an ordered list to respective reviewers based on their selections. The main objective of bidding for reviewing is to engage with the willingness and enthusiasm that helps to motivate good reviewers while not fully relying on it.

Apart from improving the quality of reviews, bidding for reviewing can help to generate additional data useful for editorial decision-making (Martínez-López et al, 2019). for instance, just as citation impact is created by earlier download statistics, so can bidding intensity reflect the article’s importance. Similarly, the correlations in user bidding can be effective in building a profile for reviewer interest to help automate the reviewer nomination process (Bradley & Thouesny, 2017).

Open Reviewing

Open reviewing has also been touted as an effective alternative to peer-reviewing. In this case, according to Oerther & Watson (2019 Importance of Peer-Review Essay), the articles are published after perfunctory preliminary checks, while the actual evaluation and assessment are left to the scientific community. This alternative offers several benefits including speeding up the assessment and comments publishing and opening for broader discussions (Martínez-López et al, 2019). However, open reviewing presents several challenges including the problem of finding enough expert reviewers who can deliver professional assessments.

Similarly, it might be expensive and time-consuming to develop open reviewing platforms that are searchable and easily manageable. It is therefore plausible to assume that open reviewing can only work as a supplement to other peer-reviewing processes rather than a replacement. Apart from the fact that open reviewing has several variants, challenges with the use of open reviewing have led to discussions about the extent to which people should make comments and reviews anonymously because there is an obvious risk that the reviewing process can be muddied rivalries between individual scientists and personal feelings.

Conclusion

One of the main conclusions drawn from this paper is that the scientific publishing industry is constantly changing and the process of evaluating research outputs is constantly evolving as well. While peer-reviewing, open reviewing and bid reviewing are some of the approaches to evaluating scientific research output, there is no single approach that can suit all stakeholders in various scientific communities. Some of the approaches can be used to complement each other.    

Importance of Peer-Review Essay References

Besançon, L., Rönnberg, N., Löwgren, J., Tennant, J. P., & Cooper, M. (2020). Open up: a survey on open and non-anonymized peer reviewing. Research Integrity and Peer Review, 5(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-020-00094-z

Bozalek, V., Zembylas, M., & Shefer, T. (2019). Response-able (peer) reviewing matters in higher education: A manifesto. In Posthumanism and higher education (pp. 349-357). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Bradley, L., & Thouësny, S. (2017). Students’ collaborative peer reviewing in an online writing environment. Themes in Science and Technology Education, 10(2), 69-83. http://earthlab.uoi.gr/theste/index.php/theste/article/view/240

Hall, J. L., Hatcher, W., McDonald III, B. D., Shields, P., & Sowa, J. E. (2019). The art of peer reviewing: Toward an effective developmental process. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 25(3), 296-313. https://doi.org/10.1080/15236803.2019.1616657

Kelly, J., Sadeghieh, T., & Adeli, K. (2014). Peer Review in Scientific Publications: Benefits, Critiques, & A Survival Guide. EJIFCC, 25(3), 227–243. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4975196/

Martínez-López, J. I., Barrón-González, S., & Martínez López, A. (2019). Which are the tools available for scholars? A review of assisting software for authors during peer reviewing process. Publications, 7(3), 59. https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/7/3/59

Oerther, S., & Watson, R. (2019). Emerging nursing scholars guide to peer reviewing an academic manuscript. Nursing open, 6(4), 1284. doi: 10.1002/nop2.368

Shatz, D. (2004). Peer review: A critical inquiry. Rowman & Littlefield.

Spector, P. E. (2020). Split roles in peer reviewing. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 13(1), 68-71

Ware M. (2008). Peer Review: Benefits, Perceptions and Alternatives. PRC Summary Papers, 4: 4-20.