This week is Peer Review Week, with a theme of quality in peer review, and we are sharing some experiences of peer review from people in the AuthorAID network. In this post, education researcher Alexander Timothy shares how his perspectives on peer review have evolved over the years.
"The love of peer review could be the beginning of wisdom. But this was not always my attitude. I was a teacher of English at secondary school level for nearly two decades before becoming a university lecturer about six years ago. As a secondary school teacher with a PhD I didn't have to publish. But as soon as I became a university lecturer, and was confronted with the compulsion to publish or perish, peer review became my nightmare. I saw reviewers as those who stood between me and my career advancement. This was triggered by the experience of rejections of my articles by some international journals. This drove me to the flattering claws of fringe journals who accepted my paper apparently with little or no peer review.
However, I have had rejections that have changed my perception of peer review. A journal, after over a year of my submitting an article, finally responded that my paper was not accepted. However, the editor didn't stop there. He provided detailed suggestions on how the paper could be improved.
I learned two things from that experience. First, I learned that peer review is an asset to scholarship. Secondly, I learned how to be a peer reviewer to my colleagues and to some journals. That is why, provided I have the time, I try as much as I can to accept requests to be a peer reviewer because I believe I am contributing to strengthening science and scholarship.
Alexander Timothy is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education, University of Calabar, Nigeria. He has a PhD in Curriculum Studies with a focus on English-language Education. Before joining the university, he was a teacher of English Language and Literature-in-English at the secondary school level. He is also interested in inclusive education, gender studies and qualitative research.