Peer review is an imperative pillar of publishing. Publication today is almost impossible to do without the use of technology such as emails and PDF reader. It makes turning out large volumes of works possible. Imagine if authors had to send hard copy of manuscripts to publishers by posts and wait for replies offline probably through the same postal system. Studies have shown that the number of published works keep increasing exponentially yearly. Most online journals nowadays use the submission system so as to make publishing author’s works faster. The submission system used is just like the electronic type of the former log books that were used to keep records and track manuscripts and this involves the use of peer review. Peer review have also been boosted by technology.
Advantages of Peer Review
It gives useful feedback to improve the quality of the research work.
It can help validate the research and prevent falsification.
It helps to select the most crucial research works for publication.
Disadvantages of Peer Review
Even though there has been advancement in the use of technology for publishing, the process of peer review is still perceived as slow-moving and not efficient. There can be delays in the distribution of research findings.
It is believed that this is caused by reviewing not still done with the most recent technologies associated with this internet age. What most reviewers/editors do is that they get the file to review, they download it and then give comments and then send their reviews back. This can be very tiring and frustrating even causing problems sometimes e.g. the line number of the copy of the work by a reviewer and that of the author that was submitted can be different.
What can be done?
Every year, more annotation services and online reading are made available for people involved in academic publications in a more user-friendly manner. There are now services that makes online reviewing possible such as www.liquidtext.net which also allows user to grab a full understanding of group of notes by relating them in an absorbing way, it also has a feature used to compare and contrast between passages to make reviewing more balanced. There is still room for improvement. Using these technologies make reviewing more efficient, faster and relaxed. All these technologies should be made to be more user-friendly, this will in turn make the whole reviewing process to be better, with higher quality and increase the turn-outs of articles that are peer reviewed.
Future plan for Peer Review
As part of our future plans to establish an online method of peer reviews and making it a rewarding experience, we will be introducing tools to reviewers in the future to aid ease of the review process, and also expand this initiative beyond reviewers to also accommodate authors and editors. Our aim is to improve both the reviewer experience, as well as the speed of peer review itself. This we hope will in turn drive a better author experience and help streamline a system uniquely positioned and better equipped to handle the millions of submissions of articles reviewed yearly.