How to Handle Common Peer Review Edits

Making Edits to Publish Faster
By Nikki Borgel on Sep 4, 2020
Peer Review Edits

The scholarly peer review process can be a daunting and overwhelming undertaking. Researchers will spend months or even years collecting the data and sources that become their research submission, only to be faced with endless revisions from expert reviewers. As Camille Suzanne Delavaux, a PhD student from Kansas University, explained in a recent blog on Nature Research Ecology and Evolution, “it can be frustrating to go line by line across five or more pages of comments,” only to be faced with the revision process occurring 2-3 more times. Whether you are a PhD student or an experienced scholar, this is a common occurrence, as the peer review process is a key element to ensure that the research accepted into a journal is of the utmost quality.

Not only do you face the process of editing from the revisions, but you are still competing with thousands of other articles from your fellow peers with the chance of being in the “endless review queue” or to have your paper rejected, based on the editor’s ultimate “accept or reject” decision. This can lead to years of work not being recognized and, in some cases, having professional milestones being jeopardized, due to the “publish or perish” phenomenon.

Based on this rigorous process and understanding that many academics are also facing strict deadlines, conducting additional research and teaching classes, eContent Pro International offers professional Scientific & Scholarly Editing, which can assist in elevating your research submission into a publishable work in as little as 3-5 business days. This can streamline the peer review process and increase the likelihood of your paper being accepted. To assist current researchers that are undergoing this process, find below tips from eContent Pro International’s expert team of editors, on fixing common peer review edits.

What is Peer Review?

As you may know, the peer review process is essential to any reputable scholarly work, as it ensures the publisher and journal only publish the most qualified and reputable research. It subjects a researcher’s work to review by others in the same field to evaluate the work’s validity and merit in the academic community. Not only does it ensure that the overall body of knowledge is not contaminated with false research or findings, but it assists in creating the next generation of advancements and innovations. While exact peer review practices vary from journal to journal, several editors and experts in your field of study will review your work for organization, clarity, and contribution to the field of study with the ultimate goal of having it gain a higher impact and increase the works credibility.

What are the Types of Peer Review?

There are four common types of peer review, including:

  • Open Peer Review: In this type of peer review, the identities of the author, editors, and reviewers are known to all participants.
  • Single-Blind Peer Review: The most common type of peer review. Here, the identity of the reviewers is withheld from the author.
  • Double-Blind Peer Review: The most common form of peer review amongst social science and humanities journals. In this type of peer review the reviewers do not know the identity of authors, and vice versa.
  • Triple-Blind Peer Review: In this type of peer review, the author’s identity is anonymized at the submission stage so that both the editors and reviewers do not know their identity. The author also does not know the identities of the reviewers.
  • The type of peer review used is determined by the publisher and can often be found on their website. Once a manuscript is presented for peer review, one or even several experts review the paper, but the amount of time this takes varies greatly from journal to journal based on their popularity and the indices that feature it. By submitting a paper that is polished and requires little to no editing because it has already been through a pre-submission editing process, your research can stand out against competition and decrease the time between submission and final publication.

    Types of Feedback

    There are three main results of a peer review process, including:

    Rejection

    Journals reject 10-60% of all articles submitted to them depending on their size, scope, and popularity (with highly indexed journals rejection rates being even higher). According to Inside Higher Ed, 85-90% of prominent authors have been rejected at least once. There are a wide variety of reasons a manuscript could be rejected, but editors will provide feedback on why the article was rejected or does not align with that particular journal. Common issues for rejection include the scope, structure, organization, flow, and grammar, which can be avoided with proper insights and copyediting from another expert in your field prior to submission.

    You can avoid rejections by using professional editorial services, such as eContent Pro International’s Copyediting & Proofreading + Scientific & Scholarly Editing package. Through this package your paper will be sent to notable researchers in your specific field to be reviewed within 2-3 business days and they will provide you feedback on how to strengthen your paper, including scientific feedback and copy edits. Not only will utilizing these resources bolster your manuscript, but it will limit the time that your paper will undergo the peer review process.

    Acceptance

    It is virtually unheard of for a research article to be accepted upon its first submission for peer review. You will undoubtedly still face rounds of edits and even, once accepted, have to review a proof of your article. During this proofing process, it is an ideal time to review your article for grammar, as many publishers require your article to be copyedited before final submission. Many publishers’ proofing processes do not include professional copyediting, making it ideal to utilize professional copyediting services.

    Request for Revision

    The most common feedback from a peer review is a request for revision before full acceptance for publication. This is where many authors face infinite pages of feedback and the “endless review queue.” These revisions can include language, grammar, and spelling, as well as more significant revisions, such as reorganization, clarification, or further development of key ideas. Often, these issues are not found throughout the paper, but within specific sections that need heavy and time-consuming revisions. These revisions can often only be identified by others within the field of research, making it ideal to utilize outside sources to provide feedback on your paper, like eContent Pro International’s Scientific & Scholarly Editing.

    How to Handle Common Peer Review Edits

    Grammar and Language

    This is a common aspect of revision, especially for those writing outside their native language. Still, there are common grammar mistakes to look out for even if the manuscript is written in the author’s native language. Many publishers will not fully copy edit your work and require authors to have their work independently reviewed. You may see in many publishers’ guidelines, it is highly recommended that you have a professional editor or utilize a professional copyediting service, like eContent Pro International, to review your manuscript. By ensuring your manuscript does not have grammar issues, it will enhance the readability of your paper and increase the comprehensibility of your findings and conclusions, leading to a higher citation impact.

    Organization and Flow

    Unlike grammar and language, issues with organization and flow affect a manuscript in its entirety rather than at its base sentence-by-sentence structure. A well-organized research paper progresses logically through the research and thoroughly introduces topics upon the first time they are mentioned. If your manuscript does not meet these requirements, it may be cause for rejection, or a delay in the publication process, as it is essential that your audience be able to follow the logical progression of ideas.

    Idea Development

    The research should bring the reader to a final conclusion that enriches the body of research that currently exists and furthers the discussion on the chosen issue. Many papers have strong conclusions, but lack clarity throughout the body of the paper, making it a challenge for the reader to understand the progression of the research. As the researcher, it can be easy to skip over details in the thought process while writing because you are already familiar with the research.

    Formatting and Citations

    Every publisher has a set of guidelines for format and citation, the most common being APA guidelines. These guidelines serve to ensure that all research in a journal or publication is presented in a cohesive manner for the reader. These guidelines can dictate article organization, but more importantly, the organization of citations. From punctuation, to the information required for a citation, these standards vary greatly between citation formats. To help with formatting and citation, there are online sources that breakdown guidelines, like eContent Pro’s APA 7th Edition Formatting Guide or copy editors and proofreaders who specialize in certain formats to help align manuscripts with the most up to date specifications of a publisher.

    The peer review edits above, outline only a few edits that occur during the peer review process, with many more being more comprehensive and detailed in nature. By utilizing outside services to review your manuscript and ensuring that a polished piece is submitted, the odds of acceptance will increase and expedite the publication process. To assist you with these challenges, eContent Pro International has a variety of editorial services, including a Copyediting & Proofreading + Scientific & Scholarly Editing package that can connect you with a doctorate-level researcher or leading educator in your field who will provide comprehensive feedback and revision suggestions similar to those received in the peer review process, to help enhance research manuscripts for publication.

    Whether you are faced with a quick turnaround time or in need of a proof of copy-editing certificate, utilizing our high-quality, affordable, and expeditious copy editing and proofreading services on your manuscript can increase the chance of being accepted in a publication of your choice in the shortest amount of time.

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    To learn more about how our scientific and scholarly editing service can enhance your document or to upload a project, please visit our copy-editing webpage here, or contact us directly at customerservice@econtentpro.com or 717-533-4010.

    About eContent Pro International: eContent Pro International is a U.S.-based, professional editorial and publishing services provider for authors, publishing houses, libraries, organizations, university presses, and societies. Offering professional copy editing, translation, scientific and scholarly editing, journal recommendation, typesetting, figure, chart, table, and equation conversions, as well as other production services, we have provided the highest quality editorial services and content advisement to scholarly outlets and individuals around the world. To learn more about eContent Pro International, visit the website here or email customerservice@econtentpro.com.

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