The Benefits and Rewards of Peer Reviewing Journal Articles | Tips on How to Get Your Research Published
If you are considering becoming a peer reviewer for an academic or scientific journal, you are probably already aware that there can be significant rewards associated with the role if it is performed well. You may not be aware, however, just how various the benefits of peer reviewing are and how far they extend beyond yourself and your own work. The following list provides an idea of the range and importance of positive effects generated by conscientious peer reviewers and the excellent review reports they produce for editors and authors. Keep in mind that low-quality and mean-spirited reviews can produce an equally negative effect.
• Reviewing unpublished papers gives you a preview of the most recent research, so it helps you keep up with the rapidly expanding scholarship in your field of expertise.
• The task of reading and offering critical comments provides valuable experience that can be applied to your own writing and that of your students and colleagues to encourage improvements.
• Doing a thorough and penetrating job as a reviewer means lending a helping hand to a busy journal editor, and there is no doubt that it will be appreciated and remembered.
• Offering constructive and supportive criticism helps authors very much like yourself with their efforts to improve their research, their writing and their chances of successfully sharing their work through publication. They may not know who you are, but most of them will be grateful for the assistance, even if it takes a while for them to feel that way.
• By working to validate, question and improve the research published in your field you perform a valuable service for readers of the journal and your scholarly community as a whole
• By evaluating and recommending for publication papers reporting valid and significant research you will be supporting and encouraging excellent research as well as promoting and inspiring the advancement of knowledge in your field.
• Reviewing also enables you to catch and prevent instances of plagiarism, intellectual misconduct and unethical publication and research practices.
• Your reviews will enable the editor to make the best publishing choices, keeping poor scholarship to a minimum and ensuring that important stages in the development of knowledge are published. The articles that result may even increase the number of readers and citations the journal earns.
• Acting as a peer reviewer for a reputable scholarly journal is beneficial to your career and can make a significant difference when it comes to employment, promotions, research and funding opportunities, and even your own publication plans.
• By taking an active part in your scholarly community through peer reviewing you make new connections and become part of a research network that is likely to prove valuable and pleasurable throughout your career.
• If you do an excellent job when reviewing papers for a journal, you may be rewarded with a position on an editorial or advisory board or you may even become an associate or chief editor for the journal, where you will be able to contribute to knowledge in your field in new ways.
• Finally, some journals now waive or reduce publication fees if authors are willing to review papers by other scholars, so reviewing just might save you a little money as well.
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If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.