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Peer Review: how to, when and why? – Dr. Cristina Bujoreanu's Blog

Peer Review: how to, when and why?

    As you start the exploration of the scientific publishing world with your first manuscript, you quickly find out what Peer Review is and how to use feedback for your own growth. It can be a harsh process, but these are the spines of the rose, my friends! There are some resources linked below for more information about the Peer Review and Editorial processes, to help you better understand quality control in the academic field.

    This post, however, is focused on explaining why you should start writing Peer Reviews as soon as you have your first articles published, targeting journals that you meet the criteria for Peer Reviewer eligibility.

     Just start: Volunteer to be a Reviewer!
   Start with something small, such as Case reports and even offer to Peer Review the work of your colleagues to form a keen eye for upgrades and vulnerabilities in research. There are also journals with mentoring Peer Review programs, search them! Learn to build relationships with Editorial Offices and search for journals you meet the criteria for. Peer Reviewing will help you develop academic style, understand experimental design and conceptualization of research and build your own scientific work having in mind its strengths and anticipating its weaknesses, therefore, inviting quality in your work.
    Even if it seems scary, I encourage you to join the other camp as soon as possible, as it will help you develop a critical eye and a complex approach of your own work. It will enable you to hack upgrading possibilities for your own manuscripts and catalyze your writing/ publishing growth process! It will save you time and back and forth adjustments on the long run while learning how to offer elegant responses to the Peer Review comments of your research. The best way to understand this world is to be part of it starting… now!

     Read, write, ask for & use feedback. Repeat!
    I think that the base for success in the publishing field is reading a lot, writing and learning to offer and receive feedback, to be able to upgrade. Action is needed for results, but smart work gets smart only with feedback that is integrated. This is a key principle also for surgery. The persistence to repeat effort, to engage in learning with and from others is valued through feedback. Many times is not about how many times you did a procedure, but how you crafted your technique and crafting is connected to reading and writing, not only doing. Work to be able to recognize quality and invest in fructifying your ideas and your personal contribution to the medical field!

     Learn to research how you can do and be better, to understand the game you are in! Here are some resources for a spark of inspiration:

  • How to write a Peer Review [PLOS]
  • How to read a manuscript as a Peer Reviewer [PLOS]
  • You have been invited to review: now what? [PLOS]
  • 10 tips for getting started as a Peer Reviewer [PLOS]
  • Peer Review in Scientific Publications: Benefits, Critiques & a Survival Guide [EJIFCC 2014]
  • Peer Review Examples [F1000 Research]
  • Guidelined for Peer Review [F1000 Research]
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