Getting involved in the peer-review process can take your knowledge, research, discipline, and career to the next level. Anyone can become a reviewer at any stage of their career, as long as they have enough knowledge to evaluate the paper or manuscript and can provide constructive criticism to authors and editors.
Learn why you should become a peer reviewer and the step-by-step guide to becoming one in this article.
Why Should You Become a Peer Reviewer?
You can view peer review as a form of collaboration between experts. Think of it as a way to propel knowledge and research forward. Furthermore, peer review helps take your career to the next step in the following ways:
- Building confidence - if you’re feeling unsure of your peer review skills or are new to the peer review process, it’s worth reaching out to more experienced colleagues for guidance. Familiarizing yourself with the peer review process (and possibly getting the support of a more experienced mentor) can help you build your confidence and credentials.
- Improve your writing (and others’) - reviewing another researcher’s paper forces you to think critically about the good and not-so-good parts and increases your ability to spot common mistakes. In this way, you’ll get insights into how to improve your writing, and you can use this knowledge to properly validate your colleague’s paper and increase your chances of getting published.
- Keep up with the latest research - you get a sneak peek into the latest research in your field to get inspired and motivated. You’re helping evaluate and improve this new work through peer review.
- Become part of a journal’s community - journals comprise a network of researchers, many of whom discuss new developments and key themes in the field. Through peer review, you can get involved with that network and build new connections for future collaborations. Additionally, if you start regularly reviewing, you may eventually become a journal’s editorial board member.
Types of Peer Review
There are multiple types of peer review, and they include:
- Single-blind review
- Double-blind review
- Triple-blind review
- Open review (author and reviewer names are known)
- Post-publication open review (reviewers and readers can post comments after publication, usually mediated by the reviewer).
Learn more about the different types of reviews in our What is a Peer Review article.
How do You Become a Peer Reviewer - Step-by-step Guide
Despite its many benefits, good peer reviewing is hard to come by. This happens because everything around you compels you to publish as much as possible, while peer-reviewing is left on the back burner with fewer incentives. In turn, fewer experts are willing to conduct peer reviews (even though editors receive more submissions), preventing the work and knowledge from getting out into the world.
Therefore, the world is in dire need of peer review experts to propel knowledge and research further. Remember, anyone can be a reviewer at any stage of their research career. But how do you become a reviewer?
By following this step-by-step guide:
- Contact the journal editor. Editors are always looking for new reviewers. If there’s a journal you regularly read, reach out to the editor directly. Include your areas of expertise, interest in reviewing, publication record (if available), and contact information. Additionally, consider attending academic conferences to meet editors who may be looking for new reviewers.
- Ask another colleague to recommend you. If you know another researcher who regularly reviews or is already involved with a journal, ask if they’d be willing to recommend you to the editor. This is especially useful if they are already familiar with your work.
- Register in the journal’s database. Some journals have reviewer registration pages that let you add your contact details to a reviewer database. Enter your strengths and field of study, and select the journals for which you’d prefer to review.
- Create a researcher networking site. Academic networking platforms, such as Academia and ResearchGate, allow you to build a profile that journal editors can find if they’re looking for new reviewers. Make sure to include details about your current field of study.
- Find a mentor. See if you can work together with a more experienced colleague on a review. If you’re a first-time reviewer, check with your journal to see if they have any available mentoring schemes.
- Write a paper. Submitting a paper, manuscript, or book review is an excellent way to become a part of a particular journal community. Since many journals add authors who have already published with them to their reviewer database, an editor is more likely to reach out to you for a review after you publish your work.
Once you’re a part of a journal reviewer database, ensure you know How to Write a Comprehensive Review.
Orvium Has Reviewing Covered
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With economic rewards and profile incentives (profile recognition badges), opportunities to increase your professional profile, and useful tools on a modern web platform, becoming a reviewer has never been simpler.
Want to know more? Check out our platform.