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To Accept or Reject: Peer Review

William T. Fagan
The Journal of Educational Thought (JET) / Revue de la Pensée Éducative
Vol. 24, No. 2 (August 1990), pp. 103-113
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23767965
Page Count: 11
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To Accept or Reject: Peer Review
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Abstract

Peer review is an established and perhaps essential part of the publishing process. In this study, 1214 review comments by 216 reviewers were analyzed to determine the nature of the reviews and to get a sense of the reviewers by developing profiles based on the nature of the comments. The reviews were categorized according to tone (complimentary, constructive, or negative); direction (specific suggestions for change versus statements of criticism); and focus (the particular aspect of the manuscript which the reviewer selected for comment). In general, the topic/content and methodology were most likely to be selected for comment, which was usually negative. Whereas authors of accepted manuscripts were often given specific suggestions for change, there was little encouragement for the authors of rejected manuscripts. Four reviewer profiles were delineated: critic, conciliator, competitor, and procrastinator. As might be expected, the reviewer profiles were interrelated with the nature of the reviewer comments. Implications for authors, editors, and reviewers are suggested. L'évaluation par les pairs est une pratique bien établie et peut-être essentielle du processus de publication. Cet article analyse 1214 évaluations faites par 216 évaluateurs, dans le but de tracer un profil des évaluateurs à partir de la nature de leurs commentaires. Les évaluations ont été classifiées sous trois rubriques: le ton: flatteur, constructif, négatif; la substance: suggestions spécifiques de corrections ou critiques; l'objectif: un aspect spécifique du manuscrit ayant retenu l'attention de l'examinateur. En général, dans le cas d'une évaluation négative, c'est le contenu ou la méthode que l'examinateur choisit de commenter. Quand le manuscrit est accepté, l'auteur reçoit des suggestions spécifiques en vue de la correction; quand, au contraire, il est rejeté, l'auteur ne reçoit que peu d'encouragement. A partir des évaluations, on peut tirer quatre profils d'examinateurs, soit le critique, le conciliateur, le compétiteur, le temporisateur. Cette analyse pourra éclairer le travail des auteurs, des éditeurs et des évaluateurs.

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