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A look at the Peer review process for Impact

If you’re interested in reviewing articles for our journal – Impact – then this Q&A is for you. We spoke to our Editorial Assistant – Phoebe Dry – to find out more about the whole process.

Why is Impact peer-reviewed?

Peer review helps us to ensure that articles are original, methodologically rigorous and relevant for teachers. The purpose of the review process is to provide constructive feedback to support authors in developing their articles.

Who are you looking for?

We welcome the views of both researchers and teachers – anyone with experience and knowledge across the wide range of themes covered in each issue. We provide guidance for our peer reviewers, so prior experience of reviewing is not necessary.

Do I choose articles to review?

Reviewers are added to our database along with details of their area of expertise within education. Articles are then matched to reviewers with the relevant expertise, who are provided with the details and word count of the article before deciding whether or not they feel able to complete the review within the deadline.

What is involved?

Peer reviewers are asked to critically assess the quality, clarity and relevance of articles for a teacher audience. The review report is expected to be short (1-2 sides of A4) and can take any form appropriate to the nature of the recommendations made, from clear and concise bullet points to longer, more in-depth paragraphs. Reviewers are also welcome to make in-line comments on the article. This will likely depend both on your individual approach, and on the level of feedback required for the author. All comments are anonymised before being sent back to the authors.

Will I receive guidance?

You will be sent a copy of our reviewer guidelines alongside the article for review. The guidelines are provided to offer an overview of the process and to outline the criteria of our different article types (either an original research article, a case study, a teacher reflection, or a perspective piece). The guidelines are designed to act as a point reference to help the reviewer and are not prescriptive by any means.

What should I look out for?

The guidelines break the peer review process down into two main sections. Points to cover will generally fall under organisation and clarity, including factors such as language and writing style; and content, which focuses on the accuracy and relevance of what is being discussed. More detail on how to individually address these points is given in the reviewer guidelines.

Should I make corrections?

Reviewers are not expected to edit papers for English, but it would be helpful if you could highlight areas that are unclear. There is no need to correct typos or grammatical errors, as all accepted papers will be professionally copyedited.

How long should it take?

This again will depend on your style, and the level of improvement needed on the paper you receive. We have a fast-paced editorial process, and as the articles are short (just 1,000 – 2,000 words) we would normally expect the peer review process to take up to two weeks, or a month maximum, depending on the commitments of the reviewer at the time.

How do I become a reviewer?

If you’re interested in joining our review panel, please email and let us know your area of expertise within education, any prior experience of reviewing articles and/or writing for publication, and other relevant information – such as any research/courses you are currently undertaking or have recently completed.