Liz Beddoe and Carole Adamson
Beginning career academics face the challenge of learning many new skills. That we will know certain arcane things is often taken for granted. One day an email will arrive asking you to anonymously review an article.
You have been chosen because the editor has seen your recent article based on your masters or PhD research. What does it mean to conduct a peer review? What do you do about conflicts of interest? What if it doesn’t cite your own work and should? How much should you write? How can you distinguish minor from major revisions? What does reject and resubmit mean? And a little further on there may be opportunities to put together a team to guest edit an issue of a journal around your research interests. What might be involved in editorial processes?
This workshop was held at the 2015 symposium of ANZSWWER at RMIT in Melbourne 3-4 September.
Our workshop offered provide guidance and encouragement to any participants wanting to know more about these dimensions of academic life. The presenters are frequent peer reviewers and have several different kinds of editorial experiences. You can see the slides here.
ANZSWWER Workshop Adamson & Beddoe 2015
Liz Beddoe is on several editorial boards, is a co-editor of Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education and is a member of the newly formed editorial collective for Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Review
Carole Adamson is a reviewer for many journals and has edited guest issues of journals, most recently on “Disaster-informed curriculum for social work and welfare education” for Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education
Both Carole and Liz are members of the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work in The Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
The blinded peer review process is the bedrock of journal publishing ensuring holding the line about what is acceptable for publishing and what is not. There is an increasing demand for academics to publish quality papers and for editors to select only high quality manuscripts. Authors generally accept that a good peer review process will help improve their paper. Reviewers generally enjoy reading other academics work but also the opportunity to help someone else, knowing that they may receive help with their papers in the future. However, few reviewers are provided with any training or mentoring on how to undertake a review. Most reviewers learn how to review by assessing articles
A very helpful post by Hugh McLaughlin, Professor of Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University and Editor–in–Chief, Social Work Education: The International Journal. here on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog read here
’Double blind’ peer review is the most common form of review, with neither the author or reviewer knowing each other’s identity. This does rely on integrity to declare conflicts of interest. So if asked to review and you are certain you know the author then this should be declared to the editor. Open review is becoming more common:
Open peer review is an unfamiliar experience for many academics, with the added transparency acting as something of a shock to the system. Cristina Costa argues that the change could facilitate a welcome shift away from ‘peer view as monologue’ towards a more dialogical approach.
The tradition in the academic publishing world is for peer review to be double blind- that is neither the author nor the reviewers know who the other parties are. This is intended to assure honest quality reviews but as above it can lead to unhelpful reviews. Christina Costa talks about experiencing an open review process.