Would you like to become a certified peer reviewer?

 

The process of peer reviewing is associated with certain challenges. Editors often struggle with finding reviewers for their next articles. Reviewers want to demonstrate their expertise but have no way of getting noticed. It happens that reviewers decline requests due to lack of familiarity with the subject matter, or because they think they are not competent and experienced enough to review someone else’s work. In the mission of overcoming these challenges, potential reviewers can gain ground skills on peer reviewing by participating in The Certified Peer Review course developed by Elsevier Researcher Academy. Becoming a certified peer reviewer will allow potential reviewers to publicly demonstrate their expertise as referees and contribute to the integrity of academic.

What is happening?

For the past few months, the Elsevier Researcher Academy team was working on a new crash course. The course has been specifically designed to give those who have not yet reviewed – or who feel they would like additional training in this area – the skills and confidence to accept a request to review. The course content is delivered via directed self-learning in the form of webinars, podcasts and questionnaires and can be tackled at the desired pace of the participant. Completion is recognised by a certificate. We hope that the course will help to tackle the reviewer shortage issue that so many of you and your peers face.

Why is this important?

The integrity of scholarly communications depends heavily on the peer reviewing process. 82% academics agreed “without peer review there is no control in scientific communication” and 74% agreed that reviewing significantly raises the quality of published papers (full report here). Therefore, it is crucial for science to expand the reviewer pool and to ensure that proper training is received for producing trustworthy and high-quality peer reviews.

Researchers agree that there is a general ”lack of guidance about how to perform a good review, and reviewers are expected to ‘learn on the job’” (read more here).  Therefore, 77% of reviewers would be interested in receiving specific peer reviewing training. Those who are interested are early researchers (with experience of 5 years and less) but also established career researchers.

What to expect?

The course is divided into 4 major sections.  Each section features complex subthemes to assure that every aspect of the procedure is covered, establishing skills and confidence in the process.

When is it happening?

The course will launch during Peer Review Week on 17th September. Register for free via this link: https://researcheracademy.elsevier.com/navigating-peer-review/certified-peer-reviewer-course/introduction-certified-peer-reviewer-course

Peer review week is a global event, organized to emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication. On 16-20 September 2019, individuals, institutions and organizations devoted to the mission of maintaining a high quality of science participate in this event to share research, highlight the latest innovation and advance best practices.

Supporting and recognizing your peer review activity

The vital role of reviewers in the academic publication process

The peer review process has existed in different forms for centuries, and continues to underpin research validation today. Although not without its flaws, many of which were raised in a 2016 survey of researchers by Elsevier, it’s still viewed as the fairest way to evaluate research quality.

However, reviewer contributions often go unseen, despite the critical role that they play in the system. With this in mind, we’ve been working on an initiative to help acknowledge the reviewer contributions of Mendeley users, in addition to what Mendeley already has to offer reviewers.

How Mendeley helps you as a reviewer

  • A private view on your reviewed publications

Mendeley users get a private view into the impact made by articles they have reviewed that were published in Elsevier journals, including how often the article has been viewed, cited and read. Their anonymity as a reviewer is maintained, as their reviewed publications are not visible to others.

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  • Public recognition of your peer review activity

We’re also excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Open Researcher Contributor Identification Initiative (ORCID) to allow our users to import peer review records from their ORCID profile into their Mendeley profile, by connecting their ORCID ID to their Mendeley account.

We spoke to Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement and Support at ORCID, who said:

“We are delighted that Mendeley users can now connect their peer review activities in ORCID to their Mendeley records. Helping researchers get recognition for all their contributions, including peer review service, is at the heart of what ORCID does; this is a valuable step towards achieving this goal.”

As of 18th June 2018, 2,770 Mendeley users had made the connection with ORCID and are showcasing their reviewing activity on their profiles (with a total of 72,135 peer review entries), see for example https://www.mendeley.com/profiles/bahar-mehmani/.

If you are interested in adding your own reviewing activity to your profile, please look out for the link to connect with ORCID at the left hand side of your profile page.

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  • What’s next?

Mendeley will continue its efforts to recognize and support reviewers. We are therefore working to ensure peer review information from the majority of Elsevier journals can also be added to your public profile and we hope to roll out this functionality in the near future. Of course, reviewer anonymity will continue to be preserved, since the particular articles you have reviewed will not be disclosed.

Reviewers play a pivotal role in the academic publication process and without their valuable time and knowledge, the peer review validation system could not function.  Whilst universal recognition of review activities as a research output is a distance away yet, there’s been a growing number of initiatives supporting reviewer acknowledgment. At Mendeley, we are doing our part, working closely with our Elsevier colleagues whose pioneering efforts led to the launch of the Reviewer Recognition Platform in 2014. More about what Elsevier does to give reviewers due recognition can be found in this article.