Peer review is the most important step of assessing a manuscript for publication in an academic journal. When an author submits a manuscript to an academic journal, the journal editor first reviews whether the manuscript meets the submission criteria of the journal. Then, the editor sends the manuscript to top experts in a particular field of study. They judge the scientific accuracy of the content presented in the manuscript. Moreover, they assess the novelty and significance of results in order to determine whether it is fit for publication.
A journal editor first examines a manuscript submitted for publication in an academic journal. The manuscript must meet the strict submission criteria of the journal, both in terms of content and English language usage. Then, the team of journal editors will select independent researchers who work as peer reviewers for the journal. The peer reviewers will assess the manuscript in terms of its originality and significance to determine whether it is ready for publication. They will recommend suggestions for improving the quality of the manuscript.
In academic publishing, there are four main types of peer-review processes: single-blind, double-blind, open peer, transparent peer. Different academic journals implement one of the four styles of peer review. In a single-blind peer review, the author does not know the name of the reviewers who assessed the manuscript. However, the reviewers know the names of the authors of the manuscript. In some cases, the peer reviewer may wish to sign the document and reveal their identity to the author.
In a double-blind peer review process, the reviewers do not know the names of the authors who drafted the manuscript. The manuscript authors also do not know the names of reviewers. By concealing the names of both the parties, the possibility of bias is excluded and a fair review of the manuscript is provided. In an open peer review process, the authors are provided with the names of reviewers. Moreover, the peer reviewers also get to know the names of authors. When a manuscript is approved for publication, the names of the reviewers are also reported along with the article.
In a transparent peer reviewer process, the authors of the manuscript do not know the names of the reviewers who assessed their manuscript. In some cases, the identity of the reviewer may be revealed when the reviewer signs the report. When a manuscript is approved for publication, the reports of the anonymous reviewers are also published along with the article. In this process, the reviewers know the names of the authors who drafted the manuscript.
At a journal’s website, the type of peer review is explained in the “About” page of the website. Peer review service is done by independent researchers who are experts in their field of study. The scientific content of the manuscript is validated for publication by a team of peer reviewers, who are selected by the editorial board of the journal. A manuscript’s content becomes more robust and useful after the completion of the peer review process.
Traditional peer reviews, however, are extremely time consuming and pain staking. Manually done, minus the aid of technology it can take repeated to and fro between different parties – authors and reviewers. The task becomes even more cumbersome if there are more than two reviewers involved. That’s where software tools like Google Drive’s Google Docs come in handy. The tool has made life so much simpler and easier wherever work related to documentation is involved. In the peer review process, which is being carried over Google Docs, a single piece of document can be shared over Gmail amongst authorized members who can add comments, feedback, edits, and suggestions. The best thing about using Google Docs is that multiple users can access the same document at once and work on it simulaneously. There is also, a chat feature, where the authorized, logged-in members can exchange views before adding comments or suggesting edits.
We suggest, that to make your peer review a simple exercise that can be managed in a few rounds, you give the Google Doc tool a go!