A Guide to Peer Review
Peer review is a process to ensure the quality and quality improvement of scholarly texts. The assumption is that only peers are able to evaluate the research content.
The process can be used for publications, project proposals, or the evaluation of institutions or research groups. Peer reviewers should be independent and come from the same subject field. Contributions to conference proceedings are often reviewed by the program committee. This is considered the weakest type of peer review. This review can be expanded to one of the processes below if necessary.
If for example, you have a manuscript that is to be published, the publisher typically organizes the process. The publisher or editor reviews whether the submitted work is suitable for publication in a journal. He identifies one or more experts and asks them to review the work. A key element of the peer review process is that the reviewers are independent from the work that is to be evaluated. After reviewing the content, the reviews vote on whether the article can be published in its current form or should be shortened, sent back to the author for edits, or declined. The valuation standards differ depending on the subject area.
Single Blind Process
In this type the reviewers know the authors' names but the authors do not know the reviewers' names. This allows unedited criticism or notes about a publication's shortcomings to be made.
Double Blind Process
In this process, both the author and reviewers are kept anonymous from each other. This counteracts the asymmetry of information, that is often criticized in the single blind process.
This process is particularly advantageous in that a review can be conducted more objectively, since the reviewer doesn't know the author and can assume an unbiased perspective.
Triple Blind Process
In this process, the reviewers know neither author's nor the editor of the journal's name. The goal is to prevent networking and preferential treatment for certain authors.
Reverse Blind Process
Here the text is made anonymous but the authors know the names of the reviewers. This type of peer review rarely takes place.
All submitted works are reviewed by the editor of the journal.
Collaborative Review Process
In this process the reviewers, authors, and registered users can discuss the submitted works and their reviews together (for example on the publisher's homepage).
Open Review Process
One goal of this process is to open up the review process to others to have a look or participate and thus make the process more transparent, in contrast to the classic peer review process.
This process has numerous degrees of openness, for example:
• Reviewers names are published in the article.
• The reviews are also published with the work.
• Authors can respond to reviewers' and registered users' comments.
• Works are openly edited and corrected.
Post Publication Peer Review
In this process, works are expressly reviewed after publication, not before. A work or manuscript is directly published on a publication platform, can be viewed by anyone, and be given notes, similar to comment function. People in favor of this process view this type of peer review as a real and timely discussion of current research results.
- Barbara Gastel: Guide Published for Peer Reviewers of Research Manuscripts, 2002
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (Ed.), Peer Review Handbook, 4th edition, 2015
- Thomson & Kamler: Writing for peer reviewed Journals: Strategies for getting published, 2013
- Tony Ross-Hellauer: What is open peer review? A systematic review. 2017