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Eating three cucumbers a day can help you lose weight: The Importance of Trust in Peer Review



Trust is an obvious ingredient in peer review, isn’t it? We might think this is a rhetorical question, but often, it’s not.

Working in the world of academia, we can too easily forget how a whole country – an entire world – trust in scientific research. The general population may not know the ins and outs of how scientific research occurs, or how the results are measured, but when a headline reads that scientists suggest ‘eating three cucumbers a day can help you lose weight,’ the reader believes it – they trust in the research that we, together, help to get published.

Trust, in all situations, needs to be established at every step. But how far do we understand how trust underpins the validity of research?

Who needs to trust whom?

To answer this question, we need to look at who’s involved.

Authors – these are busy individuals looking to get their painstakingly crafted research published in a journal with the highest impact factor and best reputation.

Editors – just like the authors, are busy individuals giving their time to ensure quality research is published in the name of their speciality.

Reviewers – who have little reason to assist fellow authors, improve the quality of the manuscript and question the author’s findings.

Trust underpins everything.

Each person involved in the process has a responsibility to be trustworthy, to stick to the rules and ensure that ethically, everything is done correctly. People can slip through the net, like the ones that do not adhere to the rules, for example, those that plagiarise, those that recommend fake reviewers, or even editors favouring an author.

Trust takes a journey through the peer review process.

The author submitting to a journal trusts that the journal will keep their paper anonymous and won’t share their research. They trust their work will pass to the editor in a timely manner so an expert, at the top of their field, can assess it. They trust the right choices will be made when sending it out for review, and that reviewers will return their work within the time specified, despite having little incentive.

So how and when does a company like PA EDitorial become involved?

We believe that communication is the key to success, and trust goes hand in hand with this.

After over 20 years in the world of academia, we have developed strong relationships of trust with publishers, who come to us with journals needing our support. They trust us to ensure good practice with authors, editors, and reviewers.

We have embraced systems to ensure that irregularities and potential breakdowns of trust can be identified. These systems include email checks, name verifications, plagiarism detection systems and an intelligent, trustworthy team that use their knowledge and skill to ensure each manuscript follows the right path.

Through developing and nurturing relationships with everyone involved in peer review, PA EDitorial can help make this process as trustworthy and stress-free as possible.


 

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