Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. It is the critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are usually not part of the editorial staff. Peer reviewers play a central and critical part in the peer-review process, assisting the editor in making editorial decisions and further through editorial communications. Also, assisting the author in improving their article. The peer-review process must be transparently described and well managed thus making it an important extension of the scientific process (https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.1.9). It is important to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal in order to develop a coherent and respected network of knowledge. Authors, Journal Editors, Peer Reviewers, and Publishers together are involved in the act of publication of research output. It is important to build a bridge of clear communication between the journals and the reviewers so as to facilitates consent, fair and timely reviews.
Below is a flow diagram to explain a fair peer-review process.
The above flow-chart is copyright to SNI publications
There are different types of peer-review process:-
Single Blind Review
This is a traditional peer-review model in which the details such as name and affiliations of the reviewers are hidden from the author. Below are the points followed in a single-blind peer-review process
- Anonymousness reviewers analyze and provide their comments without any partiality that is reviewers are not predisposed by the authors.
- Anonymousness reviewers utilize their anonymous condition to justify being optionally belittled or harsh while giving their opinion on the work submitted by the author.
In this review model, the information of both author and reviewers are kept confidential that is reviewer has no details of the author. Some advantage associated with the double-blind peer-review process is:-
- Since the author is anonymous to the reviewer thus the review comments are not based on an author’s gender, country of origin, academic status, or previous publication history thereby there are grounds for biasing.
- The manuscripts submitted by renowned authors are evaluated based on their content and data presented instead of their reputation.
Note: Despite above mention points, reviewers are subject matter experts who can identify the authors based on their writing style, data presentation, content, and self-citation thus the anonymousness of the author can not be guaranteed.
In this model of the peer-review system, the information of author, reviewer, and editors such as name and affiliation are kept undisclosed. That is the articles submitted to the journals are anonymous and are subject to publication proceeding in order to reduce the chance of potential biases towards the authors. The points should be considered with triple blind peer-review process-
- The articles’ and author’s anonymousness behavior involves a high level of complexities.
- Similar to the double-blind peer-review process, it is possible for editors and reviewers to identify the authors based on their writing style, data presentation, content, and self-citation thus the Anonymousness of the author can not be guaranteed.
This is a review model that is associated with the objective to promote a high level of transparency in the ongoing or completed peer-review process. In this system of the peer-review process, the information such as name and affiliations of authors and reviewers are disclosed to each other while subjecting an article to the peer-review process. In this model-
- The final manuscript published contains the information of the reviewer involved in the review process of the designated article.
- Authorized or Anonymous peer-review reports are published alongside the article along with the response from editors and authors.
- Once the manuscript is been published then initiating quick proofreading and also, initiating discussion forum for the named or anonymous community who can provide valuable comments.
People tend to believe that this is an excellent model of the peer-review process so as to prevent malpractices, inappropriate comments, overcome plagiarism, also, promoting genuine review comments. While others believe this is a less worthy review process as may comprise of request behavior even the threat of retribution which may tend reviewers to constrain or lower down the comments based on criticism.
Source of Information: Mendeley Public Library of Peer Review Studies group