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Peer Review: Home

A guide to the peer review process and different models of review.

What Is Peer Review?

Reviewing papers with a magnifying glass

Peer review in scholarly publishing is the process of having experts in the appropriate field evaluate a manuscript that is intended for publication. Depending on the results of the review, the manuscript may proceed to publication, may be sent back to authors for other changes to be made, or may be rejected for publication.  A variety of different peer review models exist.

Benefits of peer review include:

  • Improving the quality of the published paper
  • Offering a way for readers to know that the publication meets certain standards
  • Making sure that poor-quality work is filtered out, and that good-quality work is refined and published

Critiques of peer review include:

  • Introducing possible bias if the reviewers and/or authors are not masked, and so their identities are known
  • Referees viewing manuscripts similar to their own may delay the review to publish their own work first
  • That the process is very time-consuming, often taking months to complete


Sources: Peer review: Benefits, perceptions and alternatives. London, UK: Publishing Research Consortium; Kelly, J., Sadeghieh, T., & Adeli, K. (2014). Peer review in scientific publications: Benefits, critiques, & a survival guideEJIFCC25(3), 227–243; Riley, B. J., & Jones, R. (2016). Peer review: Acknowledging its value and recognising the reviewersBritish Journal of General Practice, 66(653), 629–630. Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.