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Using Peer Review to Its Full Potential


With over 2 million scientific articles published annually1, we know that peer review has an essential role in monitoring the quality of this ever-growing body of scientific evidence. Below are some ideas and opportunities for learning about peer-review, keeping up with recent research and trends, and tracking the impact of your peer-review efforts.

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Enjoy a week of events. Be inspired each year during the global Peer Review Week (usually mid-September) with new blog pots, podcasts, and webinars that highlight the latest research and best practices for peer review.

Take an online class. Learn from Nature journal editors in the free online Nature Master Class called Focus on Peer Review (requires registration). See more tutorials and tips from Peer Review Week’s resources page, or check out Elsevier’s Publishing Campus resource on peer review.

Follow the research. Peer review is an important enough topic to have a Medical Subject Heading (MeSH), which helps us follow this topic in the published literature. Copy and paste the following search strategy into the PubMed search box to find the latest research.

"Peer Review"[Mesh] OR "peer review"[ti]

Also in PubMed, use the “Create alert” link (found under the search box) to receive regular emails for newly indexed research on peer review.

Go to a conference. The International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication is held every four years and focuses on “encouraging research into the quality and credibility of peer review.” Consider looking at the most recent conference tweets by searching for #PRC8 using your twitter account.

Check out Twitter. Join the ongoing conversation on twitter about peer review by searching the hashtag #PeerReview in your twitter account.

Take a quiz. If you want to test your peer review skills, consider taking this interesting quiz on “navigating tricky peer review scenarios” offered by the Research in Progress blog from the BMC Blog Network.

Keep up on retractions. Nothing underscores the importance of quality peer review more than reading about the retraction of a paper from a well-respected journal. Consider following the Retraction Watch blog to better understand the circumstances around retractions.

Track the impact. Consider registering for a free Publons account to “track, verify, and showcase” your peer review and editorial contributions. In addition, Publons allows publishers to identify and screen potential peer reviewers, and provides you with statistics on the journals for which you review, and your review to publication ratio.

If you are interested in learning more about information resources related to peer review, searching for recent research on peer review, or learning more about tools like Publons, consider contacting your Galter Library liaison librarian.

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Updated: September 25, 2023