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Free Content Learning to be confident and capable journal reviewers: an Australian perspective

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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

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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