WIL in Practice uses a double-blind peer review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process. A peer review process aims to assure quality of research reporting, detect plagiarism and fraud, improve academic writing therefore writing an academic review is an important skill and part of academic practice.
This journal aims to provide encouragement for early-career and emerging researchers to publish their work.
With this in mind the way that a review is approached, and the tone of the language used will be critical in supporting the future development of new and emerging researchers in the field of work integrated learning practice.
Principles for conducting a review adapted from Lucey (2014)
- Be professional in your approach and the feedback you provide to the authors. A peer review is a review of your colleagues. A timely response is expected.
- Be scientific in the focus of your review rather than focussing on errors and then advise the editor if there are an abundance of editorial issues such as typographical errors.
- Be helpful in the suggestions that you make to strengthen the work while being encouraging.
Other expectations, as adapted from COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), include:
- Reviews should be conducted objectively.
- Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.
- Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments and references as necessary and not be defamatory or libellous.
- Reviewers should declare any competing interests.
- Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts in which they have a competing interest resulting from competitive, collaborative or other relationships, or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers.
- Reviewers should respect the confidentiality of material supplied to them and may not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in their own work.
- Any reviewer that wants to pass a review request onto a colleague must obtain the editor’s permission first.
Structuring your review
This is an important step and your review will assist the editor to decide whether or not to publish the article.
Feedback can also assist the author to improve their submission.
- Provide your overall opinion and general observations of the article. This is essential.
- Comments should always be courteous and constructive.
- Maintain your anonymity and the authors.
- Providing insight into deficiencies is important and explain and support your judgements. This will ensure that both the author and editor can understand the reasoning behind the comments.
- Indicate whether the comments are your own opinion or reflected in the data and evidence.
As part of your review, consider whether (adapted from COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics):
- the author has published this research before.
- the author has plagiarised another publication.
- the research is ethical and that the appropriate approvals/consent have been obtained.
- there is any indication that the data has been fabricated or inappropriately manipulated.
- the authors have declared all relevant competing interests.
Consider the following checklists and examples:
- Berk et al (2016) has developed a final checklist when reviewing a paper. Please find the link here
- Here is an example of a published peer review report.
- An optional checklist for early career reviewers can be found here.
Apply one of the categories that the editor use for classifying the article:
- Reject (explain your reasoning in your report)
- Accept without revision
- Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required and indicate to the editor whether you would be happy to review the revised article). If you are recommending a revision, you must furnish the author with a clear, sound explanation of why this is necessary.
Separate comments can be made to the editor and author.
The final decision
The editor will decide whether to accept or reject the article. The editor will examine all views and may call for another opinion or ask the author for a revised paper before making a decision.
After the review
Ensure that you receive credit for your work and include any peer review in your University profile and as part of annual academic performance review processes. Platforms such as Publons also allows researchers to track a complete record as peer reviewer, author and editor demonstrating your academic impact and contributions https://publons.com/about/mission. Mendeley profile, also allows you to display reviewing history and to demonstrate your contribution to the peer review process.
Free certified course to peer review
Useful articles from Reviewers’ Update
- Ten tips for a truly terrible peer review
- An early career researcher’s take-home tips on peer review
- How to review manuscripts
- Your top tip to (potential) authors
- A reviewer’s guide to ethics in publishing
- Peer review: how exactly do I do that?
Berk (2016) A checklist for reviewing a paper https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2887708#
Lucey (2014) 10 tips from an editor on undertaking academic peer review for journals https://www.elsevier.com/reviewers-update/story/career-tips-and-advice/ten-tips-from-an-editor-on-undertaking-academic-peer-review-for-journals
Download a PDF Version here.