What makes for a quality peer review? TAA members’ perspectives

Peer Review Week 2019: Quality in peer reviewIn preparation for this week’s Peer Review Week theme of “Quality in Peer Review”, I decided to reach out to several members of our TAA community for insight into the peer review process from either the author’s perspective, reviewer’s perspective, or both.

Regardless of the perspective, I asked for the answer to a single question, “What makes for a quality peer review process?” Eight TAA members share their insights: [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 17, 2019

"It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different." ~Scott BerkunThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a number of articles focused on the aspects of writer’s life that are not directly related to the task of writing. Things like use of figures, evaluation methods, motivational efforts, discussion, and networking opportunities.

These same things, while supportive of our writing practice, may also prove to be a distraction or cause of fear of evaluation of our own writing. While it is important to keep them in mind and to incorporate them into our overall writing process, we must be sure to use them in a way that moves us further along in our writing efforts. As Scott Berkun once said, “It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different.” This week let the evaluation, nagging, discussion, and presentation of your work drive you to be better and to move forward. Happy writing! [Read more…]

3 Ways to receive productive feedback

Hand reaching out to offer assistanceFeedback is an essential component of most things we do in life, especially our writing processes. However, the wrong type of feedback can be at best not useful, and at worst, harmful to the process.

Here are three things that you can do to improve your chances of receiving productive feedback.

1) Ask for feedback in ways that will be helpful

Getting the answers that you need from the feedback process requires asking the questions that will encourage the most useful response. [Read more…]

How to improve your role in the peer review process

Gayle Brazeau

Gayle Brazeau

Serving as manuscript peer reviewer is an important, critical professional activity, yet most peer reviewers do not receive any mentoring in the process from their colleagues. Peer review is only as good as the individuals who participate. Individuals who provide constructive reviews can enhance their own writing skills and extend their professional reputation through editors who will often look to good reviewers as future journal editorial advisory board members.

When reviewing a journal, read and evaluate the manuscript from different three perspectives, and employing three critical assumptions:

First Perspective: Read the manuscript and gain an understanding of the content and focus of the work.
First Critical Assumption: The reviewer has agreed to review in an area of their professional expertise.
Second Perspective: Read the manuscript from the perspective of a competitor with a critical, but objective eye.
Second Critical Assumption: The reviewer does not have a conflict of interest with the author(s) involved in the work.
Third Perspective: Read from the perspective of a colleague/friend who wants to improve the manuscript quality, providing suggestions and recommendations, as well as identifying additional work or clarifications to enhance the quality of the the current or revised manuscript .
Third Critical Assumption: The reviewer provides comments which focus on improving the quality of the study/work or the results/conclusions rather than simply dismissing the efforts by the author(s). [Read more…]