Refereeing Literature Review Submissions to Journals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Referees of potential journal articles have a dual responsibility. They are both enforcers of standards and teachers devoted to improving the quality of journal articles and developing the talents of researchers. As enforcers of standards, referees provide the peer review that is essential to maintaining high quality in the scientific literature. Referees must themselves be highly qualified as researchers and scholars to be able to appropriately enforce high standards as referees of literature reviews as well as of other types of journal articles. As teachers, they should instruct authors in the processes that are needed to improve their manuscripts sufficiently that they may become publishable. Both of these jobs become easier as the quality of submitted manuscripts improves. The task of enforcing standards is easy if a manuscript meets or even surpasses reasonable standards. And the authors of a high-quality manuscript may need little instruction. In providing feedback to the author, referees should react in part to the goals of the project and ask themselves whether the review could become an important contribution if it were developed further. If the project seems worthy, the task of refereeing an initial submission to a journal generally becomes one of providing guidance that helps the author to develop the project. Therefore, given a potentially informative project, referees, like good teachers, should adopt a positive tone in their feedback and encourage the authors. Referees need to hold out hope that the authors can develop the project to the point that it will be published in a good journal. Referees should point the way toward a stronger review.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReviewing Scientific Works in Psychology
EditorsRobert J Sternberg
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-1591472810
StatePublished - 2006


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