15 Key Peer-Review Terminologies: The ABC of Research Publications


When we talk about peer-reviewed publications, we always tend to see they have a very specific language and set of ideas. That’s why it can be very important to learn some of the major key terms for the peer-review papers.

Let’s dive deeper into the peer-reviewed process and key terminologies!

1. Awaiting Editor Assignment

Awaiting Editor Assignment means that the manuscript is matching the scope of the journal, while also following the guidelines. At this point, the manuscript is ready to be sent to the associate editor, and they will go through with a lot more detail. The associate editor might say this is not suitable for publishing, yet the editor-in-chief is the one making the final decision.  

2. Assigning Reviewer

This means the editor was assigned, however, he needs to find 3-4 reviewers for this process. Sometimes, a reviewer might pull after he was assigned, due to conflict of interest, mismatching, or a lack of time. A journal will stay in this mode until the suitable peer reviewers are found for it.

3. Under Review

If the manuscript is Under Review, that means reviewers were found and they are assessing the work. It’s a crucial part of the peer-review process, and it can be a long one too. The length of this process varies based on how many reviewers are analyzing the manuscript, its length, complexity, and others.

4. Peer-review

Peer reviewing is a process where the manuscript is studied and then critiqued by experts in that field. Mostly, reviewers are the anonymous experts. Sometimes, the author also remains anonymous, so the reviewers remain unbiased and critique the content based on what’s available. This keeps a more objective approach.

5. Double-blind peer-review

The double-blind peer review term means the reviewer and author’s identity are hidden. This keeps any bias away, while making sure the review process is handled with integrity and professionalism.  

6. Awaiting recommendation

At this point in the review process, all the required reviews have arrived. However, in some cases the reviewers will have recommendations. If you see this, then most likely one of the reviewers said they have some recommendations, but they didn’t share them yet.

7. Awaiting decision

Now that all reviews and recommendations are in and the associate editor will forward the recommendations to editor-in-chief (EiC), then it’s up to the editor-in-chief to choose whether the content is ready to publish or any new changes need to be made. Generally, the manuscript will either be rejected or accepted with some required changes (minor or major revision).

8. Rejected

In this situation, the editor-in-chief believes that the content is not suitable for publishing. Generally, he will ask for revisions or changes, and also point out what needs to be changed in order for the rejected manuscript to be accepted without any issues.

9. Accepted

If the manuscript is accepted, that means no revision is needed and everything is good to go. One thing to note is that such a situation is very rare. More often than not, a manuscript will go through numerous revisions before it’s ready to be published. That’s why it’s very important to understand most manuscripts will undergo revisions, sometimes major revisions, until they are ready to publish!

10. Major revision

This is the most common peer-review process replies/feedback. What does this mean? A major revision is showing you some of the ideas need to be revised and implemented. Peer reviewers usually state what needs to be modified and changed, based on the situation. This offers a very good idea regarding the state of the manuscript and what changes have to be made in order for this content to be approved.

11. Minor revision

A minor revision implies the fact that both the editor and reviewers think the author can modify the paper a bit to address some concerns. Sometimes, minor revisions don’t need another peer review, but the editor goes through everything. And, in some cases, a new round of minor revisions might be required depending on the situation. You don’t have to expect multiple rounds of minor revisions, but you must address what needs to be revised before everything gets published.

12. Open-access

Multiple peer-reviewed journals are sharing their articles with the public, researcher and science community without actively charging for a subscription. This means readers have free, direct access to the content. However, authors can be required to pay for the production and open access publishing.

13. Hybrid publication

As the name suggests, this journal type allows conventional publication, but also open access. It’s less common when compared to traditional publications, but it’s still an option that some people use in order to bring their journal in front of a larger audience. It’s up to the author to choose his own approach, and going the hybrid route can bring better exposure and higher quality results.

14. Copyright transfer

Once the manuscript is accepted, then the author must submit a copyright transfer form. What this does is whenever the form is signed, the journal receives all copyright and they can publish the content without a problem.

15. Camera-ready version

Having a camera-ready manuscript means that the manuscript is ready and it can be published. It’s all ready to print, so no changes need to be made. Initially, many thought that this term connects to the post-print version of the manuscript. But generally, camera-ready means the FINAL VERSION of the manuscript, which will be used for printing and publishing.

Conclusion

Understanding terms related to Peer-reviewed Journals is very important if you want to write a manuscript. These terms show what happens to the manuscript, how it’s reviewed, who reviews it, and so on. All this information is crucial because it shows how the process is managed, how it all comes together and what happens if the manuscript gets rejected.

In most cases, manuscripts go through multiple revisions until they are accepted. This is all normal, and a part of the review process. It can happen that a manuscript is accepted without any revisions, but this is rare. In general, you can expect to go through a few rounds of revisions, be it small or major.