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How Are Peer Reviewers Chosen?

By Barbara Gastel | July 11, 2010  | None

Greetings again. I hope you’re doing well. I’m glad to see that 2000 people now are registered for AuthorAID.

Last month at the AuthorAID research-writing workshop in Tanzania, people asked many excellent questions. One question was the following: How do journal editors identify suitable people to serve as peer reviewers?

After presenting my answer, I realized that other members of the AuthorAID community might have the same question. Therefore, here is my answer:

  • Editors of journals know many people in their fields. Thus, they may know people well suited to review a given paper.
  • Editorial board members sometimes suggest peer reviewers or serve as peer reviewers themselves.
  • Some journals have databases of researchers who have been peer reviewers or would be willing to serve.
  • To find reviewers, editors commonly look at the references listed in the manuscript. The authors of some of the cited papers often are suitable reviewers.
  • Editors also find reviewers by searching the literature on the topic of the paper.
  • Some journals let authors list researchers whom they consider well qualified to review their papers. If the editor wishes, one or more people listed can be peer reviewers.
  • When people who were invited to review a paper are not available, they are commonly asked to identify other people qualified to do so.

Do you know other ways that editors identify potential peer reviewers? If so, please submit a comment.

Wishing you a good week— Barbara

 

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