This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. It functions to encourage authors to meet the accepted high standards of their discipline and to control the dissemination of research data to ensure that unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations or personal views are not published without prior expert review. Within the scientific community, peer review has become an essential component of the academic writing process. It helps ensure that papers published in scientific journals answer meaningful research questions and draw accurate conclusions based on professionally executed experimentation.
Search Share A good peer review requires disciplinary expertise, a keen and critical eye, and a diplomatic and constructive approach. Writing a good review requires expertise in the field, an intimate knowledge of research methods, a critical mind, the ability to give fair and constructive feedback, and sensitivity to the feelings of authors on the receiving end.
As a range of institutions and organizations around the world celebrate the essential role of peer review in upholding the quality of published research this week, Science Careers shares collected insights and advice about how to review papers from researchers across the spectrum.
The responses have been edited for clarity and brevity. What do you consider when deciding whether to accept an invitation to review a paper? I consider four factors: I see it as a tit-for-tat duty: Since I am an active researcher and I submit papers, hoping for really helpful, constructive comments, it just makes sense that I do the same for others.
The only other factor I pay attention to is the scientific integrity of the journal. I would not want to review for a journal that does not offer an unbiased review process. For every manuscript of my own that I submit to a journal, I review at least a few papers, so I give back to the system plenty.
Finally, I am more inclined to review for journals with double-blind reviewing practices and journals that are run by academic societies, because those are both things that I want to support and encourage. I will turn down requests if the paper is too far removed from my own research areas, since I may not be able to provide an informed review.
Having said that, I tend to define my expertise fairly broadly for reviewing purposes.
I also consider the journal. I am more willing to review for journals that I read or publish in. Before I became an editor, I used to be fairly eclectic in the journals I reviewed for, but now I tend to be more discerning, since my editing duties take up much of my reviewing time.
Some journals have structured review criteria; others just ask for general and specific comments. Knowing this in advance helps save time later. I almost never print out papers for review; I prefer to work with the electronic version.
I always read the paper sequentially, from start to finish, making comments on the PDF as I go along. I look for specific indicators of research quality, asking myself questions such as: Are the background literature and study rationale clearly articulated?
Do the hypotheses follow logically from previous work? Are the methods robust and well controlled? Are the reported analyses appropriate? I usually pay close attention to the use—and misuse—of frequentist statistics. Is the presentation of results clear and accessible?
To what extent does the Discussion place the findings in a wider context and achieve a balance between interpretation and useful speculation versus tedious waffling? First, is it well written? That usually becomes apparent by the Methods section.
Then, throughout, if what I am reading is only partly comprehensible, I do not spend a lot of energy trying to make sense of it, but in my review I will relay the ambiguities to the author.
I should also have a good idea of the hypothesis and context within the first few pages, and it matters whether the hypothesis makes sense or is interesting. Then I read the Methods section very carefully. Mostly I am concerned with credibility: Could this methodology have answered their question?In this section of the MOOC, you will learn what is necessary before writing a paper: the context in which the scientist is publishing.
You will learn how to know your own community, through different exemples, and then we will present you how scientific journal and publication works. In this class, you will be required to write a scientific review paper. A secondary research paper or review paper is not a 'book report' or an annotated list of experiments in a particular field, but demands a considerable, complete literature review.5/5(26).
Writing a good review requires expertise in the field, an intimate knowledge of research methods, a critical mind, the ability to give fair and constructive feedback, and sensitivity to the.
Scientific Papers and Presentations. This chapter focuses on the importance of searching and reviewing scientific studies while preparing for ones paper or presentation. Any scientist needs to be familiar with the work that has been done in his or her area of research, and that others are doing concurrently.
Plagiarism is a dirty word. The third edition of Scientific Papers and Presentations applies traditional principles to today's modern techniques and the changing needs of up-and-coming academia.
Topics include designing visual aids, writing first drafts, reviewing and revising, communicating clearly and concisely, adhering to stylistic principles, presenting data in.
Scientific writing is an important skill enabling effective disseminating of medical knowledge, clear communication and obtaining grant funding. This course seeks to improve skills in scientific writing as it applies to publishing clear and effective scientific papers and reviewing clinical research.