Peer reviews are an essential part of publishing journal articles. They consist of experts in the field reviewing journal articles before they are published. While the journal editor usually selects these journal article reviewers, many journals also ask researchers for suggestions.
Whether you’re a researcher planning on submitting your manuscript or an editor for a journal, this article on finding and selecting the right journal article reviewers covers the basics of the process.
How to Find Journal Article Reviewers
Being a journal article reviewer is considered an honor, prompting many experts to accept this request. However, finding the appropriate peer reviewers can be difficult. In addition to the reviewers being experts in the field, they shouldn’t have any conflicts of interest or personal relationships with the manuscript’s author. The following are some of the ways you can find the right journal article reviewers.
1. Look at the Reference List
An excellent way to find experts in the field is to see which researchers have been referenced in the journal article. Because they’ve been referenced and their works cited, you’ll know they’re well-known and respected in their fields and have relevant expertise to peer review the manuscript.
2. Use Established Databases and Online Search Tools
Many tools are designed to help you find experienced and qualified journal article reviewers. These databases use abstracts and keywords to find reviewers who specialize in the same field. The following are some of the most prominent databases and online search tools for finding reviewers:
- JANE (Journal/Article Name Estimator) compares the title and abstract you add to documents in PubMed to find relevant articles, journals, and authors.
- The Taylor and Francis Reviewer Locator uses keywords to search published citations and articles on ScholarOne to find authors in the same field. The tool also allows you to set preferences while searching to ensure you find the appropriate reviewers.
- Publons’ Reviewer Connect uses the Publon database and the Web of Science™ citation index to find appropriate reviewers from a list of more than seven million researchers.
3. Look at Publications in the Field of Study
To find qualified journal article reviewers, you can look at publications in the specific field of study to check which authors are being published the most. This can give you an idea of relevant names in the field who have the experience and knowledge to peer review journal articles.
4. Ask Journal Article Reviewers Who Decline Your Offer for Suggestions
If you’ve asked researchers to peer review a manuscript and they have declined, you can always ask them for suggestions. They may be able to recommend suitable reviews you can add to your list.
5. Consider Previous Journal Article Reviewers
Journal article reviewers who have peer-reviewed work previously are great people to approach for new reviews. However, you must be careful when doing this and avoid asking the same reviewers repeatedly. This can cause reviewer fatigue and make established reviewers more likely to decline your request.
6. Ask the Editorial Board
Different members of the editorial board may have different specializations. If they match the field of study of the manuscript, you can ask them to peer review the journal article. Alternatively, you can ask members of the editorial board for suggestions for other potential reviewers and utilize their network for this.
How to Select the Right Journal Article Reviewers
Now that you know how to find journal article reviewers to ask for their assistance, it’s time to establish rules for selecting the appropriate ones. Any conflicts of interest and oppositions must be considered during this process.
Check for Conflicts of Interest
Any possible conflicts of interest must be ruled out to ensure fair peer reviews. For example, it’s best to eliminate reviewers with personal relationships with the author or a history of supervising their work. Recent publications or working with the author should also be considered. This usually applies to the last three years as a rule of thumb. Other conflicts of interest include financial ones. Journal article reviewers should not benefit from or have any financial interest in the author’s research.
Since you want your reviewer pool to be diverse, it’s a good idea to look for journal article reviewers from several different countries. This is especially important for medical journals since treatment varies between different countries. Diversity in the reviewer pool also reflects the diversity of the readers.
Keep Oppositions in Mind
Just like researchers can submit a list of potential reviewers, they can also submit a list of those they oppose as peer reviewers. This may be for many reasons, including conflicts of interest. While it’s important to keep oppositions in mind when selecting peer reviewers, it’s also important to understand that the final decision lies with the journal’s editorial board and not the researcher.
Finding and selecting the right journal article reviews can be challenging. We hope that our tips help make this process easier. If you require additional help with your manuscript before submitting it for publication, consider using Edit911’s expert journal article proofreading services.