December 19, 2019

Analytical scientists are unique. The proof? Every manuscript published in the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL has been peer-reviewed by volunteers willing to share the benefit of expertise that took them years to acquire. They don’t do it for gain: they simply have a passion for good science.

If that sounds like you, the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL wants you as a peer reviewer. Peer reviewing is a convenient way to get the personal rewards of contributing to science and making your mark in your field.

Researcher Kai Zhang, who has reviewed more than 21 papers for the Journal and has also served as a Guest Editor, says that being a peer reviewer ”can give you a better idea of what other labs are doing, which may help you in your research. It benefits both the author and the reviewer.”

Now produced by the renowned Oxford University Press, the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a highly respected analytical science forum for the exchange of information among methods researchers. Peer reviewers draw on their expertise to offer constructive feedback on manuscripts contributed to the Journal.  While the peer review is used by an editor to evaluate the suitability of the paper for publication, it is more importantly used to get papers into a form that has sufficient quality (in content and presentation) for publication.

Peer review can be a valuable way for a scientist to establish themselves in their field and build a reputation. “If you want to become a peer reviewer, the Journal is a good place to start,” says Zhang.

The peer reviewer should have knowledge of the subject of the paper, good judgment and be able to make an honest and fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of both the work and the manuscript.

Reviewers can come from industry, academia, government, or nonprofit backgrounds and can have expertise in any of the nine topic areas, each managed by a Section Editor. As papers are received, the appropriate Section Editor selects reviewers in that subject area and extends an optional offer to review. Reviewers read the paper carefully to determine if it meets Journal standards for scope and content, and if so, they contribute comments aimed at improving the overall quality of the paper.

“Good research is based on solid scientific data,” says Zhang. “But that’s not enough, because how that data are interpreted and presented can be biased. That is why we need peer review – someone to honestly tell you what they think about your research.”

To learn about reviewer qualifications, the peer review process, or to see a list of Journal sections and their scope, please visit our Journal FAQ page.