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Tips for Refereeing for Academic Journals (Social Sciences)

Today I attended a doctoral training session on Refereeing for Academic Journals (Social Sciences) by Dr.Sara Delamont at Cardiff University. Here are some tips and lessons I’ve got from the session.

  • Being a reviewer is a tough and professional job since you are working with three masters; the author(s), the editor(s) and the publisher.
  • It is not a paid job (apart from getting a free access to the publisher’s online database).
  • However, the benefits are
    (1) Keep yourself update in the field,
    (2) Practicing critical skill and Developing skill to write your own paper, and
    (3) It’s good for your CV especially in the early career stage.
  • First thing that the journal editor and admin will check when the paper arrive is “If the paper is in the SCOPE of the journal.”
  • When you receive an invitation and you cannot, the best way is to reject it!
  • In your comments, never mention your institutes. It’s a double-blinded review!
  • What the editor want is something decisive to make a decision.
  • What the author(s) want is the useful feedbacks even though it is a rejection.
  • You should say the same things in “comments for the authors” and “comment for the editors” but be positive in the one for the author(s). It can be more negative and/or direct in the comments for the editor(s).
  • A check list should be provided for the author(s) to correct. It may include
    (1) Reference style is not the journal’s one
    (2) Grammar and typing mistakes + examples
    (3) Missing literature + examples
    (4) Poor presentation
    (5) Methods etc.
  • How to become a journal reviewer?
    – Publish in that journal or other related journal
    – Present or attend in the conference in that are or the one that related to the journal
    – Introduce yourself to the  editors of the journal you’d like to review. Also mention that that’s the journal you read regularly and your head of section or PhD supervisor are suggesting you to do so if you are a PhD student or RA or relatively new in the academia.
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