The Process of Academic Publishing: What Is Peer Review?

By Jared Peterman on Jun 11, 2019
eContent Pro
What Is Peer Review?

eContent Pro strives to work with researchers to improve the quality and integrity of published work. The academic publishing process is a journey that in most cases takes more than a year to come to fruition. In this series, “The Process of Academic Publishing,” eContent Pro will outline each step involved in publishing scholarly works. This piece highlights the importance and different styles of peer review.

What Is Peer Review?

Peer review is an essential step to publishing academic manuscripts. The peer review process improves the quality of the research and validates that the research is relevant to its field. The rigorous process of peer review can make or break manuscripts as editors execute numerous changes to meet the Editor in Chief’s (EiC) approval for publishing.

  • The double-blind process is the most prevailing. The author and reviewers’ identities are hidden to assure professionalism and to eliminate any concern of impartial decisions. Reviewers judge the research based on the writing rather than the author’s reputation or status. This is crucial to the integrity of the peer review process.
  • Single-blind review also protects the identity of the reviewers from the authors; however, the reviewers can see the author’s name.
  • In open peer review, the identities of both the author and the reviewer are known, creating a transparent review process.

How Does Peer-Review Work?

Many EiCs will require the double-blind or single-blind peer review process. The entire peer review process can take 12-16 weeks. The vigorous process begins with an author submitting their scholarly articles or manuscript to an academic journal. The EiC will determine whether the research meets the journal’s requirements. If it does, the articles or manuscript will be sent to at least three Editorial Review Board Members and their Associate Editor. The editors continue the peer-review process by evaluating the manuscript on its originality and significance of contribution, interest to the research community, international relevance, coverage of existing literature, satisfactoriness of methodology, and analysis, as well as comprehension, organizational structure, and clear, concise writing.

The editors will either accept or reject the manuscript based on the criteria and send it back to the Associate Editor for additional changes. The Associate Editor then sends it back to the EiC to review the changes and decide whether the manuscript is accepted, rejected, or requires further editing. It is very common for the manuscript to still need more editing at this point, so the EiC will send it back to the author for revisions. The author will then send it back and the process will repeat itself until the EiC comes to a decision to either accept or reject the manuscript.

This strenuous process of peer review improves the submitted manuscript even if it does not get accepted by the participating academic journal. Many EiCs will request that manuscripts are professionally copy edited prior to being published, which can prolong the process of publishing. Authors should have their manuscript copy edited or reviewed prior to submission with services such as eContent Pro’s English Language Copy Editing and Scientific and Scholarly Editing.

To learn more about how eContent Pro can benefit you through a complete assessment of your manuscript, please visit and upload your document today.

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