In this episode, I’ll discuss how to become a peer reviewer for a medical journal.
One common reason for a pharmacist to wish to become a peer reviewer for a journal is to satisfy ASHP standards for preceptors in the area of ongoing professionalism. Additionally, being a peer reviewer helps uphold the scientific process, supports your favorite journal, and helps establish professional relationships.
To become a peer reviewer, consider the following 3 steps:
1. Prepare your public profile
2. Reach out to journals
3. Watch out for pitfalls
Prepare your public profile
Having a professional presence on social media is helpful because of the common practice of performing internet research on prospective associates. If your employer conducts an internet search prior to hiring, you can reasonably predict that an editorial board may do the same.
At a minimum, I would consider a LinkedIn profile, and possibly one other social media such as Twitter. Complete every part of the LinkedIn profile, and follow or connect with professional organizations and the journals you want to review for.
Your CV will also be requested early on in the process of becoming a peer reviewer. It is best to update your CV now so that there will be no delay when a journal editor requests it.
Reach out to journals
Reaching out to journals to offer your services can be done both directly and indirectly.
To directly reach out to journals, identify the journal you wish to review for, then search their site for instructions on how to become a reviewer.
To reach out indirectly, network with other professionals, tell them you are interested in becoming a reviewer and ask them to recommend you to journal editors or as recommended reviewers for specific articles. My director of pharmacy and chief of nephrology at my hospital connected me with opportunities to review articles in the past. Shout out to Pharmacy Tom and Nephrology Jorge!
Watch out for pitfalls
3 pitfalls to be aware of in this process are:
1. Don’t give up too soon. Expect this process to take a while – even after you are accepted as a reviewer it may take months for you to receive a request to perform a review.
2. Don’t underestimate the time it will take for you to complete the review. You’ll likely need to read the manuscript more than once, do some research, and take time to compose your thoughtful feedback.
3. Don’t associate with predatory journals. These journals often do not have a legitimate review process and you do not want to be associated with them due to their negative reputations. Predatory journals are those that solicit articles from unsuspecting or novice researchers and collect a publication fee from the researcher. They can usually be identified due to an unprofessional website, grammatical errors on their site, and having an inconsistent publication schedule.
Members of my Hospital Pharmacy Academy have access to preceptor development resources such as the comprehensive training on Understanding and Fulfilling ASHP Accreditation Requirements for Residency Preceptors. To get immediate access to these resources go to pharmacyjoe.com/academy.
If you are interested in using the Hospital Pharmacy Academy to provide preceptor development resources to support your preceptors and enhance the experience you provide your residents and students, have a manager or director fill out the form at pharmacyjoe.com/group.
If you like this post, check out my book – A Pharmacist’s Guide to Inpatient Medical Emergencies: How to respond to code blue, rapid response calls, and other medical emergencies.