Peer review process

Recommendations for reviewing scientific articles

The purpose of the scientific review

A scientific review is a written task in which the reviewer needs to summarize and make suggestions for improving the text of this article. A review can be prepared for a book, a chapter from a book, or an article for a magazine. Preparing a review usually requires that you carefully read the relevant text and also diligently read similar texts in order to provide reasonably well-reasoned suggestions on how to improve this text.

Review - a statement of the analysis of the text, in which its content and form are considered, its advantages and disadvantages are noted and argued, conclusions and generalizations are made. Peer reviewing is a process through which scientists evaluate the work of their colleagues in the profession, which were published in the scientific literature.

What does scientific criticism mean?

In scientific practice, consideration of critically any scientific work does not mean criticism of the author in a negative manner. A critical analysis of the text most likely requires a reviewer to question the information and judgments outlined in the text, and to submit their thoughts and suggestions for improving the text. In order to do this, the reviewer must independently understand the topic from different points of view (that is, to read the relevant materials in the form of articles, reports, monographs, etc.). To study various theoretical approaches within a certain scientific direction.

What is the characteristic of scientific work and judgment?

This reviewer must decide from their point of view, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the text, its structure, belonging to the scientific school erudition of the author. Usually this is done using specific criteria. Analysis of scientific works requires understanding not only the content of the text, but also understanding the purpose of the text, the audience for which the proposed text, and why it is structured in the proposed manner. But there should not be any conclusions.

What does analysis mean?

Analysis (research, study) requires the separation of content and concept paper on its main components, and then determine how they are interrelated and may influence each other. The analysis should reflect a balanced discussion and an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses and the characteristics of the text.

Review structure             

Reviews are compressed (one page) or expanded (up to four pages) usually have the same structure. Any review consists of the following parts:

introduction,       

generalization of existing problems and goals of the author,

critical work review       

conclusion,

references to sources.

Introduction

The volume of Introduction as a rule, is one paragraph for an article in a scientific journal, two or three paragraphs for a more extensive review of the book. It includes several introductory offers, in which authors, their titles, and a brief description issue of the text are indicated. It is necessary to present the purpose of the article, and highlight the main find of the author or the main arguments. At the end of the introduction, briefly announce your assessment of the article. This can be a positive or negative assessment or, as is usually the case, a mixed conclusion.

Generalization of existing problems and goals of the author

This generalization represents the main drawbacks of an article with a limited number of examples arising from earlier studies. The review can also briefly explain the purpose of the author or his intention, which follows from the text, and also can briefly describe how the text is organized. The generalization should be approximately one third of the next paragraph.

Critical review of the research reflected in the work

Critical consideration of work should include a comprehensive, but balanced consideration and analysis of strengths and weaknesses and features of the text. Remember that the review of the text should be based on the relevant criteria. Good reviews necessarily include other sources to support the judgment of the reviewer (make references to the sources used by the reviewer).

The reviewer chooses how to build a review:           

From more important to less important conclusions that are made in the text.

If the critical remarks are more positive than negative, then the horses are treated in the following sequence: first positive conclusions, and then negative ones.

If critical remarks are more negative than positive, then the material is given in a different sequence: first negative conclusions, and then positive.

If each criterion used reveals both positive and negative remarks, then the reviewer must determine what is also outweighed as a result. For example, the reviewer wanted to comment on the basic idea of scientific work. He found positive and negative factors. He can begin by stating what is good in the idea, and then go on to explain why its limitations are expressed. This example shows a mixed assessment of scientific work, and in general, the reviewer can come to the conclusion that the result is still negative.

In a bulk review, the reviewer can apply to each selected criterion and reflect both positive and negative factors. In a very brief review (one page or part of it) it is better to make two paragraphs, reflecting in one positive aspect, and in the other - negative.

The reviewer may also include recommendations as text can be corrected in terms of ideas, research assumptions, the theoretical approach, and the boundaries of research.

Conclusion

Usually this is a very short paragraph.

The reviewer repeats his general opinion about the work.

Briefly presents the recommendations.

If necessary, he presents his judgments in more detail. This will make the review more substantiated and convincing.

Reference to the sources of the reviewer

If the reviewer used any sources to prepare a review, then at the end of the review, he should submit their list.

Several key criteria for evaluating the text

The following list of criteria and guiding questions can be useful when reading the text and preparing a review. Remember that you can add or modify the criteria or guiding questions that will form the basis of the review. The review volume will determine how many criteria are required in your review. Changes and additions to reviews should be agreed with the publisher of the magazine.

Criterion. Possible basic questions

Value and contribution to the field of research. What is the purpose of the author?

To what extent was his goal achieved?

What has added the text to the knowledge base in the considered scientific direction? This should be expressed in terms of theory, data and / or practice in practice.

What link is the text in relation to other works in this area?

What is omitted or not specified?

Is this a problem?

Is there a problem with this topic?

Methodology and assumptions. This criterion is usually used to assess bulky scientific research. What assumptions were used in the work? That is: quantitative or qualitative characteristics, analysis / review of theory or current practice, comparison, situation analysis, personal (actual) perception, etc.

How objective / subjective assumptions are?

What are the analytical frameworks for critical discussion of the results?

Argumentation and use of objective factors. Is there a clear problem, statement or hypothesis?

What are the identified problems and disadvantages?

Is the argument (the validity of the problem) grounded?

What type of evidence is based on the text?             

How valid (substantiated) and reliable proofs are?

How effective are evidence in support of argumentation?

What conclusions are made?

Are the findings fair (grounded)?

Style of writing and text structure. Is the story style of the intended audience relevant? That is, experts, not professionals, academics / doctors or candidates of sciences.

What is the principle of organized text? Can it be structured better?

Literary sources. Focus on APA Citation Style requirements.