Peer review procedures are often mandatory in an international context, especially in the STMs it has been in use for a long time.
Peer review in journals
In most of our journals a double-blind peer review process is used as standard for quality assurance. The anonymous contributions are submitted to two peers, i.e. colleagues with relevant knowledge. The respective authors do not know who is responsible for the peer review. Usually there is a catalogue of questions to ensure quality. At the end of the review process, the peer reviewers give a recommendation for the publication of the paper, possibly accompanied by revision requirements, or a recommendation not to publish the paper.
The questions in the questionnaire aim at different characteristics of a text. It is all about:
- originality (Has the same or a very similar article on this topic already been published?),
- clean scientific work (are the principles of scientific work observed?),
- reliability and validity (consistency of questions, methods and data) and
- ability to connect (Does the publication fit into the current discourse?).
If two reviewers disagree on the assessment of a contribution and the recommendations made differ, another person may be asked for an assessment.
It is up to the editors to decide whether they wish to contribute to the peer review process at all: If the contribution does not fit into this journal, it may be rejected directly (desk reject). Even after the review, the editor’s decision may be different than recommended – but in the vast majority of cases, the editor follows the reviewers’ recommendations.
Peer review for books
The peer review process for books is similar to that for journals. Since there are no uniform mandatory requirements in our departments, we reserve the right to guarantee quality control for German-language books exclusively in our editing processes. As a rule, each author in a book accepted for publication by us receives a (short) expert opinion from our editorial office with recommendations for revision. Volumes of series are an exception to this rule because the editors of the series put a lot of effort into checking and peer reviewing the manuscripts.
International publications are always peer reviewed in the same way as journal articles. In the case of anthologies, we look for relevant peers for each individual contribution; in the case of monographs, we give the entire manuscript to a single colleague in this process.
© Pixabay 2019 / image: Free-Photos