This week is Peer Review Week, and we asked our Acquisition Editors to share their thoughts on the subject. We at The MIT Press and our authors are quite fortunate. Publishers outside the university press world do not consistently devote the time and resources that we do to the review process - both at the front end, and at the point when the manuscript is submitted. And while we have our share of reviewers who dash off a few brisk sentences, in the majority of cases at least one reviewer takes the time to send a detailed list of errors and calls for clarification, providing invaluable feedback. Reviewers have helped authors to refocus their book, to rethink their audience and to correct serious errors and misconceptions, in some cases even offering great title suggestions. Peer Review make an invaluable contribution to scholarship.
Thoughts from our acquisitions editors on what the peer review process means to them and their work:
"Peer review may not be perfect, but peer reviewers rock. Every book we publish is improved by the generous and careful attention of our reviewers. Thank you all."
"My fav gems of review wisdom are on stickies over my desk. Compiled they'd probably make a useful primer on grad school and life in general."
"In my experience, never has the peer review process not led to a stronger, more compelling, and better-written book."
"My sincere gratitude to those in the scholarly community who give so much of their time to make scholarship better through peer review."
"Peer review draws and depends upon the insight, time, and generosity of scholars who care about moving knowledge forward."
"Single blind peer review still offers the best way for academic authors and their editors to develop long-form arguments for publication."
"Peer review is the rock on which University Press publishing is built. It improves our decisions and benefits every book we publish."
"The difficulty is in finding willing reviewers. If you're lucky and you find a good one, a potentially long-term and wide-ranging relationship is usually formed."
"I'm a big fan of peer review. I've seen it transform manuscripts from mediocre to great. It's also saved me from publishing a few clunkers."
"Peer review is part of our due diligence, but informal comments from authors’ colleagues play a role in the writing process too."
"A thorough review, even a rejection, is less damning than a lukewarm review."
"Peer review is the Golden Rule in action."
"The most important part of my job is overseeing peer review: getting the best-suited readers and interpreting the reports fairly."
Interested in reading more about Peer Review? Click on the links below: