如何找到最棒的同行评审

众所周知,在同行评审过程中,对指导编辑的决策和为作者提供反馈来说最理想的情况就是找到最好、最有资格、最敬业的同行评审。然而,找到最棒的同行评审并不是一件简单的事情。作为行业的专家,编辑们有一大串的联系方式可以使用;然而,随着投稿量的逐渐增加,编辑们已经不能再局限于已有的联系人了。

1. 建立一个数据库

找到最棒的同行评审的要素之一是在合适的位置建立一个强大的同行评审数据库。虽然数据库的建立不是一朝一夕的事情,但是构建并维护这样一个数据库必不可少。询问同行评审人他们所属专业领域的关键词(关键词注意要能在相关领域内用分类学分类)。这样做的显着优点在于能帮助编辑匹配文章和同行评审人。在数据库内给同行评审打分,打分标准可以包括完成同行评审的及时性和质量。打分为定位更好的同行评审提供了有效的度量法,度量法还可以考虑周转时间和完成度。标记出既慢又帮助不大的同行评审,下一次就可避免挑选这些同行评审。

2. 询问专家

编辑要发现新人担任同行评审,需要从期刊的编委会征集意见。期刊的编委会成员都是因为他们的专业知识而成为编委会成员地,因此,他们可以担任同行评审,也知道其领域的潜在同行评审人。相似地,编辑也可以向拒绝做同行评审的专家询问潜在的同行评审人。

3. 开拓稿件的参考文献

另一个寻找新的同行评审的方法是通过开拓稿件的参考文献来找到相关的作者。即使一个作者的文章被稿件引用,也不能保证这个作者就是担任稿件同行评审的合适人选。但是,查看被引用作者的其它出版物和研究领域可以为他们是否适合担任同行评审做一个更准确的估计。除了查看参考文献,编辑也可以查看其期刊的作者。因为这些作者已经拥有被期刊仔细审查的文章,所以这些作者的专业性是有一定保证的。

4. 谨防赝品

最近,一系列引人注目的案例(戳这里、这里、这里查看案例)表明有一些肆无忌惮的作者试图自己担任自己文章的同行评审人。这个问题起源于一些期刊允许作者推荐同行评审人。作者本人或者第三方代表机构创建了邮箱地址并声称邮箱地址属于他们推荐的同行评审人。如果编辑选择邀请被作者推荐的同行评审,那么同行评审邀请就会被发送到作者本人创建的邮箱中。

编辑应该已经对依靠作者推荐同行评审持谨慎态度,因为作者会受到诱惑而推荐那些会对他们的文章有共鸣的同行评审。用假名的同行评审的危险性应该让编辑更加警惕被推荐的同行评审人。

一个使用假名的同行评审的明显信号是:使用免费的邮箱服务,例如:雅虎,微软和谷歌邮箱,真正应该使用的是机构邮箱。简单的在线搜索通常已经足够分辨或核实评审人的机构邮箱。

5. 相信你的直觉

类似的事件是对自动化的过度依赖的警示。虽然电子系统可以在管理和搜索数据库时提供无可估量的帮助,但是电子系统始终不能代替一个编辑。

如何找到最棒的同行评审

It is obvious that having the best, most qualified, most diligent reviewers is desirable both for guiding editor’s decisions and giving authors feedback. Finding the best reviewers, however, can be a real challenge. Editors, being experts in their fields, will already have a number of contacts in their areas that they can call on, but with submissions increasing editors can rarely rely on a limited reviewer pool.

 

1. Build a database

One important element is to have a strong reviewer database in place. The pool of reviewers is something that is built up over time, but structuring and maintaining that database is essential. Asking reviewers to supply keywords for their areas of expertise, (where possible for a taxonomy recognized in the field) provides a significant advantage when trying to match papers to reviewers. Rating reviewers within the database, on timeliness and quality (for instance), can provide a useful metric for identifying better reviewers, as can metrics regarding turnaround times and completion rates. Flagging the record of slow and unhelpful reviewers means they can be avoided in future.

2. Ask the experts

To find new reviewers, it’s important to solicit ideas from the journal’s editorial board. These are individuals who are on the board in recognition of their expertise, so they’re both possible reviewers and aware of other potential reviewers in the field. Similarly, it can be useful to ask for suggestions for alternatives from those reviewers who decline to review.

3. Mine article references

Another method of finding new reviewers is to mine a submission’s references for the authors of related works. There is no guarantee that an author will be a suitable reviewer just because one of their articles is cited, but looking at their other publications and their research interests should give a better estimation of their suitability. As well as looking at references, editors can also look at the authors of their journal’s articles. Because these authors have already had their work scrutinized by the journal, the editors have some degree of surety of the expertise of these individuals.

4. Beware of fakes

Recently, a number of high profile cases (here, here and here for example) have highlighted the danger of unscrupulous authors attempting to act as reviewers on their own papers. The problem is caused by the option many journals offer for authors to suggest reviewers. Either the author themselves, or a third party service acting on their behalf, creates an email account and purports that it is the email address of their suggested reviewer. If the editor chooses to invite that suggested reviewer, then the invitation goes to that email account which is, in fact, accessible to the author.

Editors should already be cautious about being dependent on reviewers suggested by authors because of the temptation for authors to suggest only those who will be sympathetic to their research. The danger of pseudonymous reviewers should make editors doubly cautious about suggested reviewers.

One telltale sign of pseudonymous reviewers is the use of free email services, such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail, as opposed to a reviewer institutional address. A simple web search is usually sufficient to find or validate a reviewer’s institutional email address.

5. Trust your instincts

Incidents such as these are a warning against an overdependence on automation. Electronic systems can provide invaluable aid in managing and searching databases but they cannot replicate the insight of an editor.

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