AbstractA scientific review process is a method of checking an author’s re-search work, analyzing the results or concepts by other specialists withinthe same field. The main work of the scientific review process is to makesure the research work submitted by the author is of high quality and anykind of unjustified claims or unacceptable content is not published. Mostof the journals use the scientific review process to meet the desired criteriaof the journals but this process has always been under the radar becauseof the biases of the editors or reviewers and the slowness of the processof publishing the submitted work.
Among the scientific community, thescientific review process has become an important part of the Academicwriting process. It helps to make sure that papers which are published inany scientific journals answer a few research questions and draw correctresults based on professionally accomplished experiments.Some below par manuscripts are submitted to publish in high-qualityjournals and scientific review process works as a filter for them so it couldstop that below par work from reaching out.
The foremost advantageof a scientific review process is that reviewed articles give trustworthyscientific information. Since scientific knowledge gradually increases andbuilds on itself, trust on published work is especially vital. Despite thepositive effects of the scientific review process, critics debate upon the sup-pression of innovation in experimentation by reviewers. Regardless of itsdownfalls, there has not yet been a foolproof system developed which canbe used in the place of the scientific review process, however, researchersare turning to electronic mediums to improve the scientific review process.Sadly, there is a boom recently in online or electronic journals publishinga lot of scientific work with less or no review at all. This boom has a majorrisk in the advancement of scientific knowledge and its future prospects.This paper summarizes the purpose of the scientific review process, stepsin the scientific review process and the pros and cons related to differentkinds of review processes.Keywords:Scientific review process, publication, peer-review, manuscript,journal, editorial assessment, open access.31 Introduction of Scientific Review ProcessScientific review process is different for all journal publications but the key ideabehind is the same for all, to publish high quality and justified claims. This isan essential process for publications to control the quality. There is two type ofreviewers involved in the scientific review process, editors and peer reviewers.Editors make sure that the content of the submitted manuscript is relevant tothat particular journal or not and the peer reviewers ensure the quality, validityand significance of work. But the final decision of accepting or rejecting thepaper is done by journal editor-in-chief.The main purpose of this process is to ensure the quality of the manuscriptbut this process has always been questioned because of its slowness and biases.To make this process trustworthy, some modifications in the process has beendone in previous decades. One of them is an open review process. With theimmense growth of electronic media, now people can publish their work withless or no review at all and let readers decide the quality of work. But it alsohas some disadvantages.2 Purpose of Scientific Review ProcessThe Scientific review process has mainly two purposes, the first purpose is tomake sure that only high-quality research work is published, especially in rep-utable journals to keep maintaining the par standard of those journals, by eval-uating the novelty of the idea, validity of results and future potential of thework. The second purpose of the scientific review process is to encourage theauthor to improve the quality of submitted manuscript or identifying the errors,if any presents, in results and provide the suggestions to the author to rectifythe errors before publishing the article or paper.3 Types of Scientific Review ProcessA scientific review process is divided into many types. It is different for eachjournal. So before submitting our manuscript in any journal we should checkthe rules and regulations for that particular journal. Each type of scientificreview process has its strengths and weaknesses. There is a desk review processand a peer review process. Often one journal prefers one type of review processbut because the review process is being in question, now most of the journalsprefer both the types.3.1 Desk ReviewIn this review process, the submitted manuscript is assessed by a group of staffeditors whether the content of the manuscript is related to their journal or not.If the manuscript is found within the scope of the journal, the editors forward4it to an expert within the field to analyze the research work. This desk reviewprocess is also known as editorial assessment.3.2 Close ReviewThis review process is also called peer review process in which a panel of expertsscrutinizes the manuscript. Journals build a group of reviewers that have agood record of producing quality reviews. There can be different outcomes ofthis process like acceptance, conditional acceptance or outright rejection. Theclose review process has three types, single-blind review, double-blind reviewand triple blind review based on the identity disclosure of reviewer, author andeditor to prevent the biases.3.2.1 Single Blind ReviewIn single blind review, the identity of reviewers is hidden from the author. It isa traditional method of scientific reviewing and mostly used so far. Reviewer’sidentity is not disclosed which allows for unbiased decisions. Sometimes becauseof reviewer anonymity, reviewers delay the publication process and publish thatwork first. Many reviewers take advantage of their anonymity and being harshwith the author while commenting on his/her work.3.2.2 Double Blind ReviewIn double-blind review process, both, author and reviewer are anonymous. Thisprocess has some advantages over single blind review process. Author’s Identityis not disclosed to reviewer that means the reviewer can’t be biased based onan author’s gender, country or academic status. The decision of accepting themanuscript or rejecting is given on based on the content of the manuscript,not on the basis of the author’s prior papers or reputation. Despite reviewerand author’s anonymity, sometimes reviewer can identify the author throughhis self-citations.3.2.3 Triple Blind ReviewIn triple blind review process, Reviewer’s identity is anonymous to author andauthor’s identity is anonymous to reviewer and editor. The manuscript isanonymized at the submission stage and maintained till the end so partialitycould be minimized towards the author.3.3 Open ReviewTo aim at greater transparency during the peer review process, many journalsuse open review process in which both reviewer and author know each other.The possible advantage of open peer review includes reviewers being not harshto the author. It is argued that reviewers give more honest comments in open5review. Some articles have their reviewer’s name on it or review report alongsidethe article.4 Steps in Scientific Review ProcessScientific review process begins when a researcher completes a research studyand write a manuscript to publish his research work. The researcher submitshis manuscript to a suitable journal. This process is called pre-submission.There are thousands of manuscripts submitted in Journals in a year. Afterpre-submission, the review process starts and the steps are divided into threecategories.Editorial AssessmentPeer ReviewFinal Decision4.1 Editorial AssessmentFirst thing the editors of the journal review is whether the manuscript is rele-vant to the field of Journal or not. If the content is related to the journal, theeditors look at the cover letter if the idea of research is novel or the study seemsinteresting or not. That’s why it is important to write a impressive cover letterwhich highlights the strength of research. If the editors feel that the manuscriptpasses the quality threshold of their journal, they ask the author to submit fullmanuscript with metadata and co-author details.Benefits of Editorial Assessment:If the content of manuscript is not in line with journal, then outward rejectiongives the author time to quickly submit the manuscript to other journal. If thequality of manuscript is below the paper, then it’s better to reject than wastingthe time or peer reviewers.4.2 Peer ReviewEditors role is to select the relevant manuscript and choose the reviewers andmonitor the review process. Peer reviewers should be chosen carefully so theycan do justice to manuscript. Many journals have a group of reviewers thathave a good record. Some journals ask potential reviewers whether they areinterested to review a manuscript or not. It’s editors job to make sure the peerreview process is conducted fairly and timely and there is no conflict of interestinvolved in the peer review process. [KSA14]Upon receiving the full manuscript, the peer reviewers perform a technical checkto make sure all the required information is there. If not, the reviewers can asksfor additional data from the authors. Peer reviewers read the manuscript care-fully and evaluate the quality of work and its significance. The reviewers also6check the novelty of idea and contribution to advancement in the respectivefield. The peer reviewer determines hat whether the summary is sufficientlyinformative.The peer reviewer assesses that the introduction provides sufficient informationabout background of the research topic. It’s peer reviewers’ job to make sure, inmethod section, it is described that why these experiments are conducted andall the experiments and outcomes are error free and described in result section.Some journals keep the identity of author or reviewers anonymous. Peer review-ers give the recommendation to editor whether the paper should be rejected oraccepted or conditionally accepted but the final decision is always Editor’s.4.3 Editorial Final DecisionThe editors of journals give the final decision considering the recommendationgiven by peer reviewers. There are the most common decisions which are givenbelow:Acceptance:That means the manuscript is accepted without any changes andthe journal will publish it in original form.Condition acceptance:That means the journal will publish the paper if theauthor can make the changes which are suggested by the reviewers.Conditional rejection:That means the journal is willing to reconsider thepaper after the author makes major changes.Outright rejection:If the decision is outright rejection, that means the jour-nal will not publish the paper or reconsider it even if the author makes majorrevisions.The Acceptance’ is very rare. The most common outcome is Conditional Ac-ceptance’. If a manuscript is outright rejected, author’s should not resubmit itin the same journal.5 Instructions for ReviewersThere a few instructions for reviewers which are given to them by editors ofjournal before they join the peer reviewer pool. To avoid any conflict of inter-est or biases, there are ethical guidelines for reviewers and some criterion forjudgment too.5.1 Criteria For JudgmentImpact and Novelty:Check the novelty of idea behind this research andwhat impact will it make for future advancement in the field.Figure or Table:All the useful figures and tables should be included to explainthe analysis.Reference:The reference list shouldn’t’t be too long and the most recent7references should be emphasized.Technical Merit:The resulting data is accurate and the arguments shouldjustify the conclusions.Comprehensibility:General reads should be able to understand and learnfrom the article what has been firmly established.Supplementary Materials:It includes any kind of method,data or text thatis of interest only to the specialist but that is still necessary for the excellenceof the paper.Security:If any manuscript may pose any kind of danger to public safety orhealth, the reviewers should inform editors.5.2 Ethical Guidelines For The ReviewersWhen preparing a manuscript for publication several ethical issues should beconsidered. These include duplicate publication, inaccuracy of citations, fraudu-lent publication, and plagiarism. [KMLCJ97]. Potential reviewers should recusethemselves from reviewing manuscripts if they have a real or apparent conflictof interest that might compromise the objectivity of the review or that mightappear to compromise its objectivity.[Roc06]If the reviewers is in doubt that he does not have the expertise the editor islooking for, he should contact the editor and discuss his/her concerns. Thisallows the editor to decide if the reviewer does have the expertise he/she isseeking, and also allows the editor to add an additional reviewer if there is anarea that requires expert review and is not covered by the first set of reviewers.Sometimes a potential reviewer is presented with a very awkward problem whenhe/she is asked to review a paper that is very close to his/her own work. Aswill be discussed below, manuscripts under review are considered confidentialdocuments. By agreeing to review a manuscript, the reviewer assumes an obli-gation to keep the data in confidence and not to use it for his/her own benefit.[Roc06]6 Pros and Cons of Scientific Review ProcessScientific review process provides a trustworthy communication of informationand helps in improving the quality of published paper. Scientifically reviewedresearch paper meets the standard of science but it is not necessarily corrector conclusive . An inefficient scientific review process owing to reviewers’ bias,conflict of interest, inability to detect major flaws or scientific misconduct andof course unnecessarily delays in publications, may impose an unwanted flaw ofcompromised research. However the notion of scientific review should not beabandoned altogether, as the publications of articles of low standard and valuecannot be allowed. There’s are a few pros and cons of scientific review processin scientific publications which are given below.86.1 Pros of Scientific Review processThe most obvious advantage is that it improves the quality of the articles pub-lished. Editors and reviewers are usually in agreement over which articles toreject but do not agree to a great extent on what to accept. Readers are ex-posed only to those papers which are scientifically sound and are acceptableexamples of quality scientific work. All peer review can reasonably do is detectmajor defects of originality and scientific credibility, together with commentingon important omissions, the rigor of the arguments and defects in writing style.It lends respectability and scientific credibility to those journals that haveadopted the process. The peer review system protects the readers from be-ing exposed to sub-standard work and helps them to decide on the importanceand generalisability of the findings. Duplicate and redundant publication is min-imized because referees, who work in a particular field, have read the relatedliterature and would know if the work had been published elsewhere. Hence,readers are prevented from wasting their time. Also, editors are saved the ex-pense of publishing this type of work. This process prevents poor quality workfrom being published. It offers clinicians and scientists the opportunity to rec-ognize, encourage, and support innovative research. [G+01]6.2 Cons of Scientific Review processReviewers rarely agree on whether to recommend that a manuscript be pub-lished, thus making for poor reliability of the peer review process. Reviewers’recommendations are frequently biased, that is, judgments are not based solelyon scientific merit, but are also influenced by personal attributes of the authors,applicants, or the reviewers themselves (where the fairness of the process is nota given). The process lacks predictive validity because there is little or no re-lationship between the reviewers’ judgments and the subsequent usefulness ofthe work to the scientific community, as indicated by the frequency of citationsof the work in later scientific papers. Reviewing is inefficient because it delayspublications; inhibits the publication of new, innovative, and unconventionalideas; and is time consuming and costly; and sometimes it can be personallydamaging, an experience that is particularly painful and distressing for newauthors. [Bor11]7 ConclusionBecause of a large number of submissions, top-tier journals are often forced toreject even high quality manuscripts for various reasons, like a large number ofsubmissions or lack of fit with the journal’s editorial focus. While reviewers andeditors easily agree on what is clearly not acceptable for publication, decidingwhat is worthy of publication is a tougher challenge. Finally, journal editorsmake decisions to accept or reject papers based on their opinion of the papers’publication worthiness and reviewers’ comments.