Welcome to our twelvth issue - October 2012
We are all aware of the major role that a quality review plays in the scientific process, in the guidance offered to authors and in its contribution to setting the standard of a scientific journal. To be a good reviewer takes experience and time and many journals struggle to find a sufficient supply of high quality and reliable reviewers. The questions then arise, are there characteristics which identify good reviewers and can a reviewer’s skills be improved once they are reviewing? In our first article Dr. Michael L. Callaham, Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s journal , Annals of Emergency Medicine, addresses these questions and references research he has been involved in looking at methods of educating peer reviewers.
Our second article, Experimenting with New Forms of Peer Review, also looks at the value added by our reviewers and how this can be recognized by publishing reviewer reports, as supplementary material, alongside articles on ScienceDirect. Three Elsevier journals are experimenting with this more transparent form of peer review and the Publishers involved describe how the process is working for their particular journal. We are also interested in hearing your thoughts on this peer review experiment and in our opinion poll we ask for your views on whether you perceive there to be added value to the published article if reviewer reports and the author’s response are made available as supplementary online material.
Our third article outlines the support Elsevier offers to its reviewers, from 30 days free access to ScienceDirect and Scopus, to the variety of resources available on our reviewers’ home. Look out for a series of 3 webcasts which have recently been published, offering tips to reviewers on how to review a manuscript.
And lastly, Ricardo A. Azevedo features in our reviewer’s profile this quarter. A geneticist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, Ricardo has a wealth of experience both as a reviewer and also as an editor, and he shares his thoughts on the peer review system and reveals how he relaxes in his spare time.
I would like to sincerely thank those who have contributed to this issue of Reviewers’ Update and for the support of our readers. If you have any ideas for articles in future issues we would love to hear from you.
I hope you enjoy this issue.
An Update on Research Regarding Reviewer Expertise
Experimenting with New Forms of Peer Review - Publishing Reviewer Reports
Publishing reviewer reports, as supplementary material, alongside articles on ScienceDirect can highlight the role reviewers play, as well as offering a more rewarding experience for readers. Three Elsevier Publishers talk about experiments with a more transparent form of peer review they are currently involved with. Read more....
Supporting our Reviewers
The standard of a scientific journal is to a great extent dependent on the quality of its reviewers. This article looks at the support we offer our reviewers to help ease the burden of reviewing and to also provide guidance for fulfilling the reviewer role. Read more....
In this issue we meet Ricardo A. Azevedo, a geneticist from the University of São Paulo, located in Piracicaba, SP, Brazil. Read more ...