Become an AJOT Peer Reviewer
What Is Peer Review?
The peer-review process is a mechanism used in scholarly publishing to increase the quality of published work. It has two main goals:
- To filter out articles that do not meet the level or scientific rigor deemed necessary for a journal
- To make recommendations that can add value to articles reviewed.
By responding to comments generated during the peer review process, authors can strengthen the quality of their work, ensuring that the best product is published.
AJOT’s Peer Review Process
AJOT uses a double-blind peer review process: Our reviewers are given no identifying information about the authors or research location, and the reviewers remain anonymous to the author. Blinding helps reduce bias during the peer review process.
Every article submitted to AJOT receives at least two peer reviews; in the case of incongruent recommendations, a third, “tiebreaker” reviewer may be solicited.
Some decisions are made after a single round of reviews; however, it is more common that 1 or 2 rounds of revisions are necessary before a final decision is made. AJOT editors usually attempt to solicit the same reviewers to review article revisions, however, reviewers may not be available and new experts may need to be solicited.
Benefits of Being a Reviewer
The peer-review process benefits the entire field of occupational therapy by strengthening the quality of what is published and then implemented into practice. Peer reviewers are therefore essential to the field, and their involvement informs a community of practice. It can be rewarding to contribute to the profession in this way. Reviewers may also get personal satisfaction in helping others make their work better.
In addition, volunteering to review for a journal such as AJOT is an act of service that can be listed on one’s curriculum vitae or resume, and it may count towards promotion, tenure, or moving up a clinical ladder. AJOT also gives out awards and recognitions to reviewers who provide exceptional service to the journal:
- AJOT Acknowledgement of Service: Given annually to all official reviewers who complete at least 4 reviews during the calendar year, all of which are submitted on time
- AJOT Outstanding Reviewer Award: Based on number and quality of reviews as well as review turn-around time. Each Associate Editor (N = 15) makes one outstanding reviewer nomination.
- AJOT Impact Award: Awarded after 50 completed reviews.
Becoming an AJOT Reviewer
AJOT has a pool of more than 300 official reviewers who are regularly invited to complete peer reviews. In addition, handling editors will solicit outside reviewers with expertise that matches the content or methodological features specific to the article needing review.
Reviewers for AJOT must have expertise with research and an understanding of research methodology. Clinical or subject matter expertise is also important. Handling editors will often try to solicit reviewers whose expertise complements, but does not duplicate, each other.
AJOT is always looking to expand its pool of reviewers. Most people start out by doing an occasional review in their area of expertise. New reviewers are often paired with a more senior reviewer during the peer review process so they can get feedback from a more experienced person. We recommend that PhD students and postdoctoral associates complete their first peer-review with a mentor or advisor. Junior faculty may choose to complete their first peer-review with a more experienced colleague.
If you are interested in becoming an ad hoc or official reviewer for AJOT, contact the Editor-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org