At some point in a scholarly career, you will be asked to writepeer reviewed journal articles. This process plays a big role inacademic publishing and writing. All reviewers need to do thesethings objectively:
- Read a given manuscript;
- Provide an expert opinion about if it’s suitable for afurther publication.
Besides, it’s necessary to determine both weak and strong sidesbecause expert comments help authors revise their articles andmake them stronger. You should point out writing mistakes and howa manuscript can be better organized.
How to read manuscripts objectively
First, decide if you want to accept an invitation to reviewarticles because it should be accepted only if you think it’sappropriate. Analyzing these pointers will help you make theright decision:
- Do you have enough time?
- Do you have the necessary expertise for journal articles?
- Is there any conflict of interest?
Understand a particular subject matter to understand whetherthere’s any meaningful or original contribution to a given field.You shouldn’t accept any articles for peer reviewing if you can’tmeet their deadlines. There can be different conflicts, and youneed to avoid any of them.
Reading and analyzing originality
When reading a given manuscript, underline any significantsections and fix mistakes. Analyze its originality because itshould make any original contribution to the chosen field. Decideif this research can interest other people involved in it. Nomatter how original a manuscript is, ensure that it fits ageneral scope of a specific journal.
Giving answers to important questions
Determine if the main argument convinced you by giving answers tosome basic questions:
- Did you find a manuscript convincing, intriguing, andcompelling?
- Does information support a thesis?
- Are there any extra facts that can make it stronger?
- Is it free of mistakes?
- Were methods and techniques appropriate for a given field?
- Is there any important information missing in this article?
- Is current literature synthesized properly?
- Are there any other background details required?
Assessing the quality of writing
When it comes to peer reviewed journal articles, assessing thequality of writing is an important task because poorly-writtenmanuscripts will exhaust readers’ patients or impede the rightunderstanding of the main argument. To achieve a good result,note the following things:
- Can you understand everything clearly?
- Does it need any good editing?
- Is its tone suitable?
Any peer reviewed article should have a list of references, sonote the works cited and give them close scrutiny. Try to findanswers to a few helpful questions, such as:
- Are there not enough or too many references?
- Are they from reliable sources of information?
- Are there any sources neglected to cite?
- Is the chosen citation format standard and accurate?
How to write a good peer reviewed report
Check important guidelines on how your report must be structuredbecause they all should be followed. If you have a particularform to use, it will make report structuring an easy task. Sum upeverything in several sentences to decide whether you have acorrect understanding. For example, you need to identifyquestions, approaches, goals, and conclusions. If you can’t writeyour brief summary, determine whether the main argument isinconsistent or points aren’t logical and clear.
Identifying flaws and giving an overview
Give an overview of importance and sum up overall impressionsfrom a manuscript. You can mention if a major argument isimportant or interesting and whether a conclusion iswell-supported with strong data.
Identify possible flaws in the main argument because even strongjournal articles have theoretical errors and assumptions thatmust be addressed. Put your criticisms in a peer reviewed reportwhile being constructive. They are considered as extra steps toimprove a paper and strengthen an argument. Clarify if allsuggestions are mandatory or optional.
Critiquing the organization and pointing out strengths
You should not only criticize, but also to identify interestingand strong sides. Critique the writing and organization ofjournal articles because they may have good ideas, but must becarefully revised or reorganized. Some possible improvementsinclude:
- A title that fails to capture the content accurately;
- An incomplete abstract;
- Section headings that don’t describe a given materialaccurately;
- A paper is too short or too long;
- A paper must be reorganized for its clarity;
- Writing is poor.
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