Peer review and your career

Peer review provides assurance that research published in an academic journal is reliable and trustworthy. It also gives authors a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback and improve their work. But how does this benefit the career of the peer reviewer?

Please read on for answers to the important question, can peer review help me in my own career? You will also learn about the many initiatives in place at Taylor & Francis that will make sure you feel supported and recognized as a peer reviewer.

How does peer review help in professional development?

From carrying out research to writing effective papers, teaching, and presenting at conferences, today’s academics have a lot on their plate.

There are many skills relating to all these responsibilities that you’ll need to develop over the course of your career. Luckily, peer review is an added advantage to support the development of your required skills in a number of ways.

  1. Improve your own research
    Being a peer reviewer can improve and develop how you carry out your own research. For example, as a reviewer, you get an early view of the exciting new research happening in your field meaning you can easily stay up to date with the latest techniques and thinking.

    In addition, because you’re critically evaluating papers, it can help you think about your own study designs and what approaches work best in your field of research.

  2. Hone your writing skills
    Reviewing articles written by other researchers can give you insight into how to improve your writing. The process of reviewing encourages you to think critically about what works well in an article and what doesn’t.

    As you review more papers, you’ll start to spot common mistakes. This could relate to writing style, presentation, or the clarity of explanations. You can then use this knowledge in your own writing and improve your chances of publication.

  3. Become a better teacher
    Providing constructive feedback is a critical part of any teaching role. You need to be able to critically evaluate how your students are performing and provide feedback to help them improve.

    This is a similar process that you’ll need to apply in peer review, so carrying out peer review provides you with some fantastic experiences you can take back to your teaching role.

Career benefits that peer review provides for reviewers

Improving your own skills isn’t the only benefit of carrying out peer review. There are also other ways that it can help you grow and flourish in your career.

Gain greater insight into the publishing process

If you’re an early career researcher, taking part in peer review will give you helpful insight into how the publishing process works. You’ll see the draft manuscript to compare with the published version. You’ll also (usually) see comments from other reviewers, the decision letter from the editor, and the authors’ response letter that accompanies any revisions.

You can also learn from seeing how other authors handle criticism of their manuscripts. All of this should help you considerably in better understanding and managing the publishing process for your own papers.

Recognition you can include on your resume

While a lot of reviewing is anonymous, there are schemes to recognize the important contribution of reviewers. These include reviewer lists in journals, reviewer certificates, and Clarivate Web of Knowledge.

You can also include your reviewing work on your resumé. Your work as a reviewer will be of interest to appointment or promotion committees looking for evidence of service to the profession.

Grow your network

Many journals are the center of a network of researchers who discuss key themes and developments in the field. Becoming a reviewer is a great way to get involved with that group.

This can give you the opportunity to build new connections for future collaborations. Being a regular reviewer may also be the first step to becoming a member of the journal’s editorial board.

Reviewing as an early career researcher

The most important requirement for being a peer reviewer is to be knowledgeable on the specific topic the paper covers. You don’t always need long years of experience for that to be the case.

Early career researchers are often the ones using the techniques and ideas they will be reviewing on a day-to-day basis. This makes you well-placed to identify strengths and weaknesses in different approaches and results.

Starting in peer review as an early career researcher can be daunting, but there’s a lot of support available for you. Take a look at our reviewer training program to get you started.

Also, please read more about how to become a peer reviewer and the ethical guidelines for peer reviewers.

Recognition in peer review

Recognition in peer review is not just about acknowledging peer reviewers for their service to academic publishing and the research system as a whole, but it encompasses a few other aspects as well.

Reviewers invest a huge amount of time and expertise in the peer review process. That’s why we’ve put a variety of schemes and tools in place to make sure you feel supported and recognized in your role.

Taylor and Francis publishes a wide variety of journals, and the rewards and recognition offered may differ between them. They include:

  • Reviewer certificates

  • Free access to journal content

  • Book discounts

  • Our partnership with Clarivate which allows researchers to showcase a complete record of their reviewing activity

I still have questions

Please read our extensive frequently asked questions for answers to common questions on reviewing a manuscript.

FAQs before review

FAQs during review

FAQs after submitting your report