Peer Review: A Short Guide
Published 15 November 2019
The 4th volume in the Short Guides series provides practical advice for authors and reviewers engaging with the peer review process in scholarly publishing. Despite valid criticisms of peer review as a system, it is crucial to the advancement of knowledge and the protection of academic freedom. Participating in peer review – as an author, a reviewer, a member of an editorial board, or an editor – ensures your scholarly peers’ values play an important role in publishing decisions. Done well, peer review also provides important editorial feedback that improves the quality of knowledge.
Being edited is difficult. Providing editorial feedback constructively is a skill you can develop. It is crucial to acknowledge and address your emotional reactions, and to focus on the work rather than the person. Everyone involved in these processes is capable of making significant contributions to knowledge. Peer review supports them in doing so.
The Short Guide starts with an overview of what peer review (in publishing) is, why it is valuable, and some of the issues related to the voluntary nature of the labour. The rest of the guide is divided into two chapters based on your relationship with peer review on a specific occasion. As an author, you need to deal with reviewer comments, revise your manuscript, and resubmit. I provide practical advice for dealing with the emotional side of that, making a plan for your revisions, and writing a cover letter for the editor. There is also a section on dealing with reject decisions. For reviewers, in addition to advice about how to give feedback constructively to support the author in improving their manuscript, I also address how to respond to requests, how to find time to review, and how to deal with the emotional aspects of reviewing. Peer Review (A Short Guide) complements other books in this series to provide support for all stages of the scholarly writing process so you can do your job more confidently and even enjoy it.
Ebook: ISBN 978-1-912040-65-0
Paperback (A5 210 x 148 mm): ISBN 978-1-912040-66-7
Listen to the introductory chapter, What is Peer Review?
Table of Contents
About the Short Guides series
About this guide
What is peer review?
- Peer review as gatekeeping
- Peer review as editorial labour
- Peer review and the value of voluntary labour
- Peer review and emotional labour
Receiving comments as an author
- Emotional work
- Practicalities of revising for resubmission
- Dealing with a “reject” decision
Giving feedback constructively as a reviewer
- Emotional work
- Workload and responding to requests to review
- Making a recommendation to the editor
- Giving feedback constructively
- Reviewing a resubmission
Conclusion: Peer review supports the advancement of knowledge
Notes and further reading
About the author
An earlier draft of one of the sections in the first chapter: The value of voluntary peer review labour
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This book would be an ideal thing to include in orientation packs for new PhD students or new academic staff/faculty. You will be able to order paperbacks through your campus bookstore or contact me to arrange shipping. If you’d like to give multiple copies of the e-book, contact me and we will work out a price, a purchase agreement, and a mechanism for downloading the files.