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Peer Review: Home

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

What Is Peer Review?

Set of hands 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: Kelly J, Sadeghieh T, Adeli K. Peer review in scientific publications: benefits, critiques, & a survival guide. EJIFCC. 2014 Oct;25(3):227-243. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4975196/

Riley BJ, Jones R. Peer review: acknowledging its value and recognising the reviewers. British Journal of General Practice. 2016 Dec 1;66(653):629-30. Available from https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp16X688285

Ware M. Peer review: benefits, perceptions and alternatives. London: Publishing Research Consortium; 2008 Dec. Available from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.214.9676&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.