NS 8050 Discussion Peer Review

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NS 8050 Discussion Peer Review

NS 8050 Discussion Peer Review

Post the draft of the paper you submitted in the Unit 6 assignment as an attachment to this discussion. Indicate the type of feedback you would like from other learners. If there are specific aspects of the paper you would like help with, indicate that.

Types of peer review

Peer review comes in different flavours: you must therefore check which variant is employed by the journal on which you are working so you’re aware of the respective rules. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Often one type of review will be preferred by a subject community but there is an increasing call towards more transparency around the peer review process. In case of questions regarding the peer review model employed by the journal for which you have been invited to review, consult the journal’s homepage or contact the editorial office directly.

Single anonymized review

In this type of review, the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author. This is the traditional method of reviewing and is the most common type by far. Points to consider regarding single anonymizedreview include:

  • Reviewer anonymity allows for impartial decisions – the reviewers should not be influenced by the authors.
  • Authors may be concerned that reviewers in their field could delay publication, giving the reviewers a chance to publish first.
  • Reviewers may use their anonymity as justification for being unnecessarily critical or harsh when commenting on the authors’ work.

Double anonymized review

Both the reviewer and the author are anonymous in this model. Some advantages of this model are listed below.

  • Author anonymity limits reviewer bias, for example based on an author’s gender, country of origin, academic status or previous publication history.
  • Articles written by prestigious or renowned authors are considered on the basis of the content of their papers, rather than their reputation.

But bear in mind that despite the above, reviewers can often identify the author through their writing style, subject matter or self-citation – it is exceedingly difficult to guarantee total author anonymity. More information for authors can be found in our double-anonymized peer review guidelines.

Triple anonymized review

With triple anonymized review, reviewers are anonymous and the author’s identity is unknown to both the reviewers and the editor. Articles are anonymized at the submission stage and are handled in such a way to minimize any potential bias towards the author(s). However, it should be noted that:

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  • the complexities involved with anonymizing articles/authors to this level are considerable
  • as with double anonymized review; there is still a possibility for the editor and/or reviewers to correctly divine the author’s identity from their style, subject matter, citation patterns or a number of other methodologies

Open review

Open peer review is an umbrella term for many different models aiming at greater transparency during and after the peer review process. The most common definition of open review is when both the reviewer and author are known to each other during the peer review process. Other types of open peer review consist of:

  • publication of reviewers’ names on the article page.
  • publication of peer review reports alongside the article, whether signed or anonymous.
  • publication of peer review reports (signed or anonymous) together with authors’ and editors’ responses alongside the article.
  • publication of the paper after a quick check and opening a discussion forum to the community who can comment (named or anonymous).

Many believe this is the best way to prevent malicious comments, stop plagiarism, prevent reviewers from following their own agenda, and encourage open, honest reviewing. Others see open review as a less honest process, in which politeness or fear of retribution may cause a reviewer to withhold or tone down criticism.

For three years, five Elsevier journals experimented with publication of peer review reports (signed or anonymous) as articles alongside the accepted paper on ScienceDirect (example).

Read more about the experiment

More transparent peer review

In general transparency is the key to trust in peer review. Many Elsevier journals therefore publish the name of the article’s handling editor on the published paper on ScienceDirect. Some journals also provide details about the number of reviewers who reviewed the article before acceptance.

Furthermore, in order to provide updates and feedback to reviewers, most Elsevier journals inform reviewers about the editor’s decision and their peers’ recommendations.

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