When you write a peer review for a manuscript, what should you include in your comments? What should you leave out? And…
Are you thinking about being a peer reviewer but aren’t sure where to start? Are you concerned that you don’t have enough experience to review a manuscript for a journal?
Here are ten easy things you can do to prepare to be a reviewer and put yourself in a position to start reviewing. Some of these are so simple you can do them in the next five minutes. Get started now!
1. Update your public profile
Keep your department or personal website current and make sure it includes relevant keywords about your research areas.
2. Be findable
Make sure your email address is easy to find and up to date.
3. Read, read, read
Stay up to date with the published literature in your field (via journal eTOC alerts or RSS feeds, among others). When you read an article, think about how you would evaluate it if you were reviewing it for a journal. Also read articles that are published with the reviewer comments online.
4. Keep up the good work
Editors often select reviewers by looking at the references in published articles. By continuing to conduct your research and report the results, you’ll help editors find you, and match you to the kinds of studies you want to read.
6. Find a mentor
Let your supervisor know that you are interested in doing peer review. Ask if you might be able to coauthor a review with your supervisor. Use the confidential comments section of the review form to share your name with the journal. Some journals also might have mentoring programs for junior reviewers.
7. Go to conferences
Give presentations or participate on panels at conferences to start getting known among others in your field. Network with journal editors attending the conferences.
8. Get active on social media
Follow and connect with experts in your field via Twitter, LinkedIn, or other platforms.
9. Join (or start!) a journal club
Find or form a group at your university or institution to get practice evaluating research with your peers.
Do you have ideas or advice not listed here? Let us know!