Peer review is a process of reviewing a scientific article for when the author of the article wants it to be published in a bigger publication. Essentially, the article will be submitted to an editor, who will then see if the article is wroth reviewing or not. If deemed so, the article will be sent to hand picked individuals to go through the article, and “nit pick” it for errors, faults in the argument or procedure of it, pretty much anything that could be wrong with it. Once these reviews are done, the editor will send it back to the author to make the suggested changes. Once these changes have been completed, the article will be resubmitted to the editor for a final review, and publication if deemed good enough.
There are definitely pros and cons to the peer review process.
The immediate pros of it are that the author is getting multiple sets of eyes on it, and not only that, but those people reviewing it are experts in the field of whatever the article consists of. The title “Peer Reviewed” also boasts extreme scholarship, so it will benefit the paper in the future if anyone decides to use it as a source.
The cons of this process are that even though these people are professionals, they may have their own agenda ahead of the authors. This may result in extreme bias in some reviews when in reality it’s just the prejudice of the reviewer. Sometimes you’ll see this in whole publications themselves. They’ll be rather biased in the papers that they even allow to be peer reviewed. This can also translate to “drama” that can be caused among larger organizations.
It was also nice to hear Shawn’s opinion on these things, especially since he’s been a Peer Reviewer. He gave us a lot of cool insight and facts of the process you probably wouldn’t find on the internet.