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Publishing in English: Peer Reviews

An upcoming guide to English-language publication for Japanese scholars

WORKING WITH PEER REVIEWS

Peer Review is the process of evaluating a work proposed for publication by an individual or small group of with similar background and experience.  In academic journal publication it is common for a work to be reviewed by two or more scholars from similar fields and/or from disciplines with a comparative interest in the topics covered in the proposed work.   


Peer Review 

How are Peer Reviewers Selected? 

What will the Peer Reviewer’s Judgment be based upon?  

Receiving the Peer Evaluations

Evaluating the Comments of Peer Reviewers

Noting Peer Reviewer’s Comments in Resubmitting an Article

Readings and Resources


How are Peer Reviewers Selected?

Upon receipt of a work proposed for publication a journal editor contacts individuals thought to be good peer reviewers and asks them to review the work for publication.  Peer reviewers are generally individuals familiar with the publication, have published there previously, and may have a current or former relationship with the publication as a member of its editorial board.  Members of the editorial board may also be asked to suggest potential peer reviewers for a proposed publication, or to serve in that capacity themselves.

What will the Peer Reviewer’s Judgment be based upon?  

A peer reviewer will read the article's abstract and review the draft with an eye to its argument, writing style and overall fit with the profile of the publication to which it has been submitted. Generally a peer reviewer writes-up a set of comments that make specific suggestions on how best an author may revise their work for publication.

Receiving the Peer Evaluations

The journal editor receives the comments of the peer reviewers and forwards them to the author with a cover letter providing an overall recommendation about the work.  An editor will usually recommend one of the following: that the article be rejected (perhaps with some suggestions of other publications that might be interested); that the author revise the article and resubmit it (with no guarantee of future publication); or that the article be accepted with a range of recommended changes or additions.   

Evaluating the Comments of Peer Reviewers

The comments of peer reviewers are not shared with one another may focus on different aspects of the manuscript, and may contradict one another.  In interpreting the comments of peer reviewers an author should recognize them as suggestions, not commands, and should consider how the recommendations may alter or improve the original intent of the article and its argument.  When the recommendations of peer reviewers contradict each other an author must decide which set of recommendations to follow.  In such cases a brief written consultation with the journal editor may be advisable, however a substantive response to such a query is not guaranteed.  Consultation with an advisor or colleague may be a good strategy.  

Noting Peer Reviewer’s Comments in Resubmitting an Article

Once an article has been revised for resubmission enclose with it a cover letter that also explains how you followed the peer reviewers advice and especially, in the case of contradictory advise, that explains why you chose to follow the advice of one reviewer over another and how it supports your argument.  Always remember to follow the guidelines of your publisher and submit digital copies of your document that closely follow all style guidelines.

Readings and Resources

WORKING WITH PEER REVIEWS (Alternative format for review)

Peer Review is the process of evaluating a work proposed for publication by an individual or small group of with similar background and experience.  In academic journal publication it is common for a work to be reviewed by two or more scholars from similar fields and/or from disciplines with a comparative interest in the topics covered in the proposed work.   

*Click on the headers below to read more.


How are Peer Reviewers Selected?

What will the Peer Reviewer’s Judgment be based upon? 

Receiving the Peer Evaluations

Evaluating the Comments of Peer Reviewers

Noting Peer Reviewer’s Comments in Resubmitting an Article


Readings and Resources

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
北米日本研究資料調整協議会
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