It’s Peer Review Week (19 – 25 September) this week which we think is something to celebrate as the activity of peer reviewing is central to our commitment to publishing books and journal content that meets the highest possible standards of academic rigour.
Senior Commissioning Editor Victoria Pittman explains why peer review is such an essential part of our process and what exactly that entails within Policy Press…
As a university press with high quality standards and a commitment to ensuring our books are the best they can be, there is no doubt that peer review will always be an essential component of our editorial process.
We review all of our book proposals as well as the full drafts of manuscripts prior to the production stage.
The proposal review stage allows us to interact with experts in the area and provide the author of the proposal with valuable feedback to help shape the project. The reviews include comments on the scope of the proposed book, its structure, intended audience and its place in the existing literature.
Reviewers are asked to consider whether improvements could be made and ultimately whether or not they would support publication and consider buying the book.
Differences of opinion
On average we collate 3‐5 proposal reviews in order to give authors enough feedback to work with and so that we can take account of potential differences of opinion. In most cases the process runs very smoothly and it is an effective way of helping us to decide what to publish and to help authors develop their proposals.
The typescript review stage provides us and the author with feedback on the full text of the book. The comments can relate to the overall coherence of the book, whether it lives up to the proposal, and how the author might improve it when making their final revisions. It is a really valuable part of the process and I am confident that it contributes to the quality of our publications.
We are incredibly lucky to receive feedback from people who give up their limited free time to help us and we are very grateful for this. For the peer reviewers, commenting on proposals can be a good way of staying on top of the work being published in their field and we also offer remuneration in the form of books or a payment for their time.
Without them we would not be able to produce the same standard of publications so we would like to take this opportunity to offer our thanks to everyone who has ever reviewed material for us. Please keep helping us publish great books which make a difference!
If you want to find out more about Peer Review week including this year’s theme, Recognition for Review, which explores all aspects of how those participating in review activity – in publishing, grant review, conference submissions, promotion and tenure, and more – should be recognized for their contribution, check out the Peer Review website here.