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, biologist Mariam Hamisi shares her reflections on the importance of quality in peer review.
I am upholder of the peer review process and I have no fear of rejection, I have learnt this from my professors and it became my attitude. Back to 2003 when I submitted my first manuscript in one of the regional journals, I found that the reviewers' comments were necessary to improve the work and not merely rejection. When I started working with international teams and submitting articles to international journals, I realized that the process is not just for improvement of articles but is also for making decisions about them.
I remember one of my manuscript was rejected three times. Each time I was given comments and after incorporating the comments, I felt like the manuscript deserved an even higher journal than the previous one. Thus, regardless of being rejected, the comments were necessary and helped to improve the manuscript quality until it was accepted at the fourth submission, so this has been a journey. For us who are working in higher learning institution this might be endless Journey, as we can not avoid peer review process in both as authors and reviewers.
However from the recent experience I felt like the review process is taking on a new shape, with less constructive comments and long waiting times. Sometimes the reviewers' comments are less than five lines and lack reasons for acceptance or rejection.
Mariam Hamisi is a biologist at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.