Week 11 – Peer Review

I found Lovejoy, Revenson and France’s (2011) article thoroughly informative, especially for someone who is not too familiar with the peer reviewing process. It was interesting to see that Lovejoy acknowledges that many people are unaware of the process and states that they “may never attempt these activities, despite the desire to do so, because they feel ill-equipped to conduct a review” (p. 2). I, for one, feel this way, especially since I never really had the confidence to even review my own work, let alone someone else’s. I looked over my peers’ papers on several occasions, but I found this really difficult to do. I remember looking over paragraph after paragraph, and there were times where I could not find anything to critique on.

Throughout my years in university, I have often asked family members and friends to look over my work, and to provide me all the honest critiques they can give. I feel more comfortable with people that I know and trust to review my work, especially those who are familiar with my style of writing. They acknowledge the common mistakes I make when writing papers and they point this out to me and tell me a better way to go about with the paper. I find to be at less ease when a stranger reviews my work because I am not always confident with my own writing, and I do not take it well when others criticize it. However, from Professor Galey’s lecture last week and the readings, I felt a bit more relaxed when I was told to not feel entirely discouraged or upset if the reviews come back and reject your paper or advises major changes. Lovejoy et al. (2011) also mention that papers are sometimes rejected because they would perhaps “be better suited for publication elsewhere” (p. 3). So, a rejection does not necessarily mean that the paper is bad in the sense of quality of writing. Even so, I am still a bit apprehensive about submitting my paper to a journal; yet, I hope that I will eventually gain enough confidence to do so someday.

Lovejoy, T.I., Revenson, T.A., France, C.R. (2011). Reviewing manuscripts for peer-review journals: A primer for novice and seasoned reviewers. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 42(1), 1-13.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Week 11 – Peer Review

  1. Hey Tracy,

    I feel the same way about having my work reviewed by people I don’t know. Whenever I have work edited by family or friends I feel as thought they’re criticism is constructive where as if someone else provides the same feedback it is as if they are attacking what I have produced. I am sure there is some biological or social in group- out group reason for the response, I think there is less anxiety and stress related to receiving feedback from people you are familiar with. I guess by re-framing it as the (scientific, social, research etc.) community providing support it makes it easier than just an outsider reviewing it.

    Drew Duddly, the former coordinator of The Leadership Development Program at The University of Toronto Scarborough campus once compared creating an idea to having a child (Dudley, 2008). It is something you made, which is special that you love, and to have someone come in and attack your idea/child causes you to immediately become defensive and irate. This is an impulse he said should be subsided so that you can become open to other ideas and changes that you might not otherwise have been privileged to.

    Drew Dudley, Personal communication, September 2008.
    Nuance Leadership Development Services Inc. (2012). Creating Transformative Experiences. Retrieved from http://nuanceleadership.ca/

  2. frieda187

    Hi Tracy,
    I share your sentiments. I also happen to be very uncomfortable about sharing my writing and for it to be reviewed by individuals I don’t know. For me, writing is something very private and personal so I prefer to share only amongst my family and closest friends. Unfortunately, when it comes to work/school world we do not have that choice so it’s something I continue to struggle with. You’ve made an excellent point (as echoed by Prof Galey & the Lovejoy et al. article) about rejection not always being based on personal ability. It can be difficult not to take the rejection personally but there are so many factors as to why a paper doesn’t make the… and in many cases we never learn the real reason behind the decision. As someone who enjoys research for the sake of research I try to focus on the potential positive contributions a research study/project can make!

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