Guideline for the online seminar on Peer review for Yobe State University:
Introduction to peer review
- Brief history on scientific communication. Slides 1-10
Types of peer review
- Single-Blind review
- Double-blind review
- Open review
Types of responses one may expect
- Historical rejections
- Reasons for rejections
- The resilience of the rejected
- Major & minor revision (Slide 74)
How long does it take to receive a review of a paper?
- Patience! Good reviews take time
- 3/4 months is reasonable, although it varies greatly by field.
- Never send your manuscript to more than one journal at once.
- Whenever you feel that there are big delays you can always contact the editor. Be very polite.
- If the delay is unacceptable you can always withdraw your submission and then send it to another journal.
Responding to reviewers’ comments
- An example of a response
- Another example
- Example of a MAJOR revision
- Another example of a MAJOR revision
Politeness and its limits
Things reviewers look at
- Manuscript within the journal’s scope – Example journal scope – Another example
- Clear structure
- A comprehensive message: Good writing-style
- Your paper has to have a story
- Literature review up to date and up to the point
- Novelty and complexity
- Clear methodology
- Adequate methods
- Good interpretation of findings
Sending the manuscript to the wrong journal
- A potential suggestion is to include your target audience in the paper
- The importance of cover letters. An example here.
- You can submit case studies to international journals, but they have to be well-framed. An example, anoter example and another one.
- In some cases, local cases my be very important. For instance here.
Should I cite articles from my target journal?
- It is logical to expect that related papers to your topic have been published in the journal to which you are submitting your paper.
- In no case citing papers from the target journal should be made mandatory by editors or reviewers. This is a malpractice.
- Reviewers may suggest papers to cite, as long as it is reasonable to do so, it is fine to include them. Some of these papers may be his/hers, you should not be obliged to cite them.
The journal asks me to recommend reviewers. Who should I recommend?
- Good practices pay off in the long run. Recommended reviewers should not be directly related with you. That is a conflict of interests.
- They should be experts in the field.
- Choose and recommend world-leading experts, their reviews may be harsher but it sends a message of rigour and honesty to the editor.
- Editors are no fool! And if they are, maybe that is not the right journal.
- Recommending does not mean they will be contacted. But it helps editors to find similar experts.