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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

Chapter 1 provides a foundation for understanding peer review and offers a framework for the remainder of the book. It begins with identifying the purpose of peer review and why it is important to the academy. The chapter then highlights the primary criticism of the process which is the limited number of competent people available to review due in part to gender, country of origin, and career stage inequalities, which are briefly discussed. Next, the demand and need for peer review training is considered as well as the fact that most reviewers have never received any training in how to do peer review. The section ends with a brief outline of each of the remaining chapters in the book and our journey to writing this book.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

This chapter defines a high-quality review, as editorial teams need such reviews, not just any review, to help them make effective decisions regarding submitted manuscripts. The chapter proceeds to break down the definition into 5 phrases and expounds on each of these phrases highlighting the importance of each in the definition. The purpose of the chapter is to help readers understand the perspective that needs to be taken when reviewing a journal submission. A brief caveat about ensuring that one’s recommendation matches the textual comments provided to the editor is proffered. The chapter ends with a discussion of changing peer review criteria, most notably, the emphasis, by some, on the rigor of the research rather than its importance.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

Chapter 2 discusses the benefits of reviewing to reviewers, what we call “WIIFM” - what’s in it for me. Specifically, the chapter details four different types of rewards that may accrue to those taking on the responsibility of effective peer reviewing: financial, personal fulfillment, improving one’s own capabilities, and career benefits. Particular attention is given to the most important benefit of building capabilities in general about doing research, about research execution, and about the explication of one’s research. Although these benefits may be obvious to mature reviewers, early career researchers and doctoral students may be surprised by some of them. The downsides of reviewing - that it takes time and cognitive energy - as well as some issues to consider before accepting a review invitation are also acknowledged.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

This chapter summarizes the general expectations of high-quality reviewers across the multiple audiences who are affected by the reviews - authors, editorial teams, and the profession. We call these expectations the 5 Rs: the reviewer’s roles, responsibilities, responses, reactions, and respect. Understanding these expectations before reviewing can help an academic approach the entire review process more effectively and with an attitude that may maximize their own benefit while providing the highest-quality review possible. We discuss what each “R” means and how each should direct one’s reviewing behavior.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

This chapter presents a Peer Review Template to help guide the reader through a repeatable process for executing a review and writing a peer review report. We also offer some recommendations for getting started on your review, outline suggestions about the content of the initial part of the review, provide our own processes and comment on our own review styles, and then introduce a checklist for the types of issues to consider in detailing the minor points of concern. This chapter also lays out the way the content of next five chapters in the book is presented. Chapters 6-10 dig into each of the major sections of manuscripts - Introduction, Theory and Literature Review, Method, Results and Discussion, and Implications. Using examples of both a qualitative and a quantitative paper, we provide guidance regarding what to look for in each section of the paper as well as hypothetical reviews from two reviewers on each section of each paper.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

This chapter focuses on how to review the introduction section of a manuscript. Specifically, the section argues that reviewers need to assess four necessary components of the introduction: effective positioning of the research in the extant literature, a compelling motivation for the research, a specific research question, and a statement of the major contribution(s) to new knowledge. A table that details specific questions reviewers need to consider under each component is supplied for the reader. Potential reviewer comments for the introduction for each of the two sample papers are also presented.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

This chapter deals with how to review the theory and literature review sections of manuscripts, and in the case of quantitative papers, the hypothesis development section. High-quality reviewers need to examine the following in this section of the manuscript: clarity of concepts and constructs and their definitions, description and justification of the theories framing the research, review and syntheses of the relevant literature in the domain(s) of the research, and the development of theoretically argued hypotheses, where appropriate. Differences in this section between qualitative (theory-developing) and quantitative (theory-testing) manuscripts are highlighted. A table that details specific questions reviewers need to consider under each component is proffered. Potential reviewer comments for this section for each of the two sample papers are also presented.

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Gloria Barczak and Abbie Griffin

Chapter 8 emphasizes the need for reviewers to assess, regardless of type of research method, the: overall research design, sample and participants, research protocols and their development, data collection, data preparation, and data analysis. However, given differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, issues and considerations unique to each type are presented. A table that details specific questions reviewers need to consider under each component and for each type of research method is displayed for the reader. Potential reviewer comments for this section for each of the two sample papers are also supplied.