What's your peer review story? — R Voice

What's your peer review story?

Jayashree Rajagopalan
Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

It's Peer Review Week - a time to celebrate and discuss how peer review impacts us and how we influence peer review. Most discussions about peer review focus on the peer review process itself. Shouldn't we also hear from and hear about the people, feelings, and emotions involved in peer review?

So what's your peer review story?

Do you recall your first ever peer review as an author or reviewer? What was your most memorable peer review experience? How does peer review affect you?

@chris leonard @Shruti Turner @Asli Telli @Erin Owens @Isurika Sevwandi @Mohamed Samunn @Hong Ching Goh @Lidia Lins @Dahlia T @Soumi Paul @Ruchika Yogesh @Yufita Chinta @Vera Chan @Lafi Munira @Gustavo Arluna @Suman Mundkur @Parul Nigam @Omololu FAGBADEBO @Madeeha H @Abdirisak Mohamed Abdillahi @Babatunde Salami @Cathrine Katsigianni @Dahlia T@Garima Negi @Ibrahim Rahmouni @Kailash Agrawal @Oka Dharmawan I Dewa Made @Parthiban Govindasamy @Victor Muthama @FAROOQ RATHORE @Yuliya Shtaltovna @Mdumiseni Mazula @Erwin Mina @Rolando Reyes @Kiran Kondru

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Comments

  • Mdumiseni Mazula
    Mdumiseni Mazula Member Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Hello everyone, emh peer review process stresses to much because it's a long process it just need everyone to calm down

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan, peer review is a tedious and tasking exercise, both for reviewers/editors and authors. When reviewers' comments look like garbage, authors would feel discouraged. And when the manuscript seems to be difficult to read and understand, the reviewer becomes disillusioned. In the end, the parties involved are engaged in a round of learning exercises. I have had tastes of both sides and I can say that it is a very thick aspect of the research/publishing world.

    One thing at a time

  • Erin Owens
    Erin Owens Member Posts: 18 ✭✭✭

    I'll be sharing more detail about my first peer review experience in my talk tomorrow -- https://www.editage.com/insights/author-and-reviewer-experiences-building-a-bridge-of-empathy?refer-type=Webinars -- but, wow, I found it intimidating. I had always thought of my reviewers as being so much more experienced and "wise," and I still felt like a novice researcher after just a handful of articles (I think I had five publications at the time of my first review). I know authors feel intimidated by getting the reviewer comments, but reviewers can often feel intimidated by the process, too. I invested a LOT of time in that review, reading and re-reading the journal's reviewer guidelines, drafting and re-drafting my comments, trying to be substantive and meaningful while also NOT BEING MEAN!!

  • Rolando Reyes
    Rolando Reyes Member Posts: 5

    To be honest, it is expected that a reviewer will possess expertise in all the technicalities in research writings, including the most sensible part- the ethical considerations. In my part, I opted to examine how the paper was implemented without bias and major offense on getting other ideas (plagiarism). Other than that, how variables are treated with appropriate statistical tools arriving at compelling interpretations is my next priority in the whole writings. There are more, but my preference to agree on the trustworthiness of that scholarly work will be the premise in this judgment.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    @Mdumiseni Mazula - yes that's true. Peer review is quite stressful for a lot of us. Was it stressful for you the first time? How was your first peer review experience as an author? We'd love to hear about it.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    @Erin Owens - I'm super kicked about your session today. I totally resonate with the thought you shared..."peer reviewers are wise" is often what most early-career researchers feel. Love the fact that you highlighted "the other side" - the peer reviewers' side. After all, peer reviewers are as human as authors are. I can imagine reviewers feeling nervous and anxious during their first review and, just as you did, putting in more effort to deliver. The level of responsibility is different when you are a reviewer.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    Thanks @Rolando Reyes. Reviewers are indeed expected to be the voice of reason for a paper - by looking at ethical considerations, best publication practices, and a critical look at the study's premise, methodology, findings and interpretations. Being unbiased during the whole process is also very important. But, looking back at it, do you recall your feelings or emotions as you dealt with your first peer review?

  • Adaora Anyichie - Odis
    Adaora Anyichie - Odis Member Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    I have been very busy in the first and second quarter of this year and didn't make out time to get vaccinated earlier, but after reviewing a paper on vaccination in June I created time on a Saturday to get vaccinated. I am very grateful for that paper I reviewed. However, there was another paper I reviewed on vaccination and I had not realized that the Author was/is an anti-vax...his cohorts descended on me on Academia.😉

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 55 ✭✭✭

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan my first peer review experience was great and I am happy to recall it and truly beleive that 1st impression and experince was super motivating for me continue my academia and get into publishing articles and present my research findings in conferences. It was during December 2018, when I was a final year student and I sent my first abstract to an interntional conference that was held in person in Sri Lanka. Even though I had a glimpse into peer reviewing process during my research methodology class as well as working in my undergraduate thesis with my supervisor, this was the first "official" review that I got from a double blind peer reviewing process so I was really loking forward to it with many intense feelings like: what if my work sucks? what if they feel like this is irrelavant for the conference track? it lacks novelty? and are we going to accept and abstract from an undergraduate student? and so on... That time I didn't consider as a novice researcher and was caged into the expression of being "an undergraduate" but later I realized even an undergraduate can do a lot and should start with baby steps to move out from the comfort zone however.

    Actually, that first review was brief but to the point, so it really helped me to do the final fine tuning and recognize the blunders of my writing and to understand that academic writing differs from regular writing style. So I could present my paper in front of international panelists and the manuscript got published in Springer. So my take on peer review is that the wording should be realistic, constructive and authentic and should encourage as well because it shouldn't let down the author. Even though he wouldn't be able to accomplish his/her publication dream now, the review should inspire that he/she would not end his journey there with the review but should navigate through the journey aiming at the destination, how much time it takes. The ingredient of "courage and inspiration" is essential for any type of review just to boost the researcher/author and his passion an energy for giving it a try.

  • Yufita Chinta
    Yufita Chinta Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 22

    I attend the session @Jayashree Rajagopalan and must agree with your note in comment here.

    Thank you for the insightful session @Erin Owens I am one of your fans now.

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 163 admin

    Ironically, my first experience with peer review was for a paper titled "How do authors feel when they receive negative peer reviewer comments?," so I was slightly apprehensive about how my reviewers would react to it. Thankfully, both my reviewers were quite professional and provided constructive comments. However, there was quite a bit of delay in the peer review process, and I recall how anxious I was at the time. My journal did not have an online tracking system at the time, and I was hesitant to write to the editor asking for updates. Finally, I did write though, and my editor was quite proactive in communicating with me. In fact, when one of the reviewers was unavailable for a second round of review, she filled in herself and was extremely detailed and encouraging in her comments. Overall, it was quite a positive experience for me. @Ruchika Yogesh @Karen Hall @Hong Ching Goh @FAROOQ RATHORE Would love to know about your first experience with peer review.

  • Hong Ching Goh
    Hong Ching Goh Member Posts: 36 ✭✭

    I was given 3 days to address like 40+ comments/inquiries, detailed but some really need a bit of thought before responding. Felt like a long 3-day contraction to delivery a baby among other works which I had committed! but it was a good experience. always have to expect the unexpected. In fact, last week, for 2 grants we submitted, the funder requested for a 24-h and 48-h response to their inquiries and submission of presentation slides. That was another contraction to deliver twins with a time gap of 1 day! In academia, always while we have learned something, there are always MORE to learn in publication or in securing funding!

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    @Adaora Anyichie - Odis So yours was a story where academic and personal life met at vaccination point - all thanks to peer review. :-) A very interesting share - thank you! And glad you got vaccinated (clearly, I'm pro-vax ☺️)

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    It’s so encouraging to hear about positive first-time experiences with peer review @Isurika Sevwandi! I can totally relate to the intense feelings when you’ve submitted your paper and know that it’s being peer reviewed – there’s so much self-doubt and anxiety during that phase, especially for those who’re fairly new to the process! I LOVED your take on peer review and I might use it as a quote somewhere, if you’re okay with it. These words are so relatable:

    My take on peer review is that the wording should be realistic, constructive and authentic and should encourage as well because it shouldn't let down the author. Even though he wouldn't be able to accomplish his/her publication dream now, the review should inspire that he/she would not end his journey there with the review but should navigate through the journey aiming at the destination, how much time it takes. The ingredient of "courage and inspiration" is essential for any type of review just to boost the researcher/author and his passion an energy for giving it a try.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    Thanks for sharing @Kakoli Majumder What a story - sharing a first-time peer review experience for a paper that was about peer review! Since you mentioned the delay, I vividly recall you receiving a lot of queries from researchers looking for advice for dealing with delays in journal responses during peer review. But it also looks like your experience was very positive. The advice, I guess, from your experience is for researchers to not hesitate to reach out to the journal if they feel like there's been a delay in hearing from them.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin

    @Hong Ching Goh I must say this is a unique but very effective comparison – peer review and labor pains. Sorry that you had to respond to what looks like an exhaustive peer review in a rush. But, like you said, there’s always more to learn!

  • Erin Owens
    Erin Owens Member Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 55 ✭✭✭

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan Of course you may use it wherever and whenever you think it is applicable. If this quote can add at least a little bit of positivity to "peer reviewing" process somewhere by someone, I would be glad about it☺️

  • Mohamed Samunn
    Mohamed Samunn Member Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    I am yet to write my first peer-reviewed journal article. Let me see how it goes!

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 175 admin