Learning to be confident and capable journal reviewers: an Australian perspective
Abstract:Journal peer review has been the subject of much research. However, the learning process through which reviewers acquire their reviewing ability, and reviewers' own perceptions of their capability have rarely been a focus. This interview study asked three questions about reviewer capability and training. At what stage did you gain confidence in reviewing? How did you learn how to review? Is formal training necessary? The interview is part of a mixed-method project studying experienced Australian reviewers. The respondents indicate that learning to review is a continuous cycle in which formal training will not work. Following a mostly self-guided initiation, new reviewers establish personal reviewing patterns. By trial and error, the patterns are consolidated and the reviewers eventually feel 'confident'. 'Decisiveness' is a good sign of becoming confident. Most respondents emphasized that journals could play a crucial role in producing good reviewers, e.g. by specifying unambiguously their expectations of 'good reviews'.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2012
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