About the Peer Review Process

Peer review is vital to the quality of published research.

Your submitted article will be evaluated by at least two independent reviewers whose feedback will contribute to the editor’s decision on whether to accept or reject your article for publication.

What is peer review and why is it important?

Peer review is defined as the “critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are not part of the editorial staff.” Ninety-one percent of authors think that peer review improved the quality of their article (Sense About Science Peer Review Survey). Reviewers help authors hone key points, identify and resolve errors, and generate new ideas. Peer review ensures the integrity of science by excluding invalid or low-quality research.

How does it work?

The journal editor invites reviewers who are experts in your article’s subject matter to evaluate the article and provide feedback. Reviewers comment on a variety of points such as whether the study is well designed or if the results are too preliminary. The reviewers’ feedback informs the editor’s decision on whether to accept or reject the article. IEEE policy requires at least two qualified reviewers evaluate a submitted article before the editor can reach a decision. (IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual, Section 8.2.2.A.4)

The most common types of peer review are single-blind and double-blind review. In single-blind, the names of the reviewers are not shared with the author but the reviewers are aware of the author’s identity. In double-blind, neither the author nor the reviewers are aware of each others’ identity. In both models, the anonymity of the reviewer ensures that the reviewer can give an honest and impartial evaluation of the article.  Most IEEE publications use the single-blind review format.

What are editors and reviewers looking for?

During the peer review process, editors and reviewers are looking for:

  • Scope: is the article appropriate for this publication?
  • Novelty: is this original material distinct from previous publications?
  • Validity: is the study well designed and executed?
  • Data: are the data reported, analyzed, and interpreted correctly?
  • Clarity: are the ideas expressed clearly, concisely, and logically?
  • Compliance: are all ethical and journal requirements met?
  • Advancement: is this a significant contribution to the field?