Reviewer Exchange Program

By Violet Cheung-Blunden


The large researcher-to-practitioner ratio in our division revealed by the SEC survey (Davis & Cheung-Blunden, present issue) calls for more initiatives and programs to address the needs of researchers. One need that emerged in the survey was getting more experienced members to look over the manuscripts of SEC members before they undergo the formal review process at publication outlets. These kinds of requests require asymmetrical commitments from senior members in our division, which is not entirely impossible given the kindness and generosity of our members. However, it occurred to me that everyone (researcher or practitioner, junior or senior member) can use some assistance with their manuscripts. Even the most seasoned writers can appreciate a fresh pair of eyes to comb through a manuscript in its final stage or a pair of hands in compiling the reference list. In fact, student or early career members are particularly suited for these tasks precisely because they are “fresh” and they are well versed in the current APA style. Such thoughts led me to propose an exchange program that leverages the strengths of all members in our division.

Aim and Principles

The Reviewer Exchange aims to develop a circle of friends and colleagues who rely on each other for polishing their manuscripts. The key principles are

1)     Equity: Each person will take on two roles – a requester and a reviewer. A requester sends a manuscript to the Exchange and a reviewer responds to the inquiry. Everyone should try to balance the two roles (over the course of a year) although running up credits is less of a problem than accumulating debts in such a system.

2)     Constructive: Rather than pointing out the flaws in the manuscript, be sure to make constructive suggestions/corrections whenever you can.

3)     Respect: Take care of other’s intellectual property. If you like someone’s work, find a way to collaborate with them. It is my hope that like-minded individuals will find each other in the Exchange and that they will collaborate on data collection and co-authoring papers. Before then, this Exchange is limited to well-developed manuscripts.

4)     Types of reviews: The three types of review below are currently available. Requesters should ask for the most appropriate form of review. Reviewers will get to choose which type of work they are willing to do. Reviewers should limit their work to 3-5 hours per manuscript and keep the turnaround time to 2-3 weeks.

  1. Major review: This is analogous to the major review one receives from journals. Reviewers should comment on the completeness of literature review, soundness of research question, the articulation of the main argument, choice of data analyses, styles of data presentation etc.
  2. Minor review: This type of review is akin to the final round of editing of a manuscript that is otherwise ready for submission. Reviewers should correct/red flag misspelled words, inconsistent use of terminologies in the manuscript, unprofessional/strange word choices, misplaced et al., mismatched references between the main body and the reference list (items in the list not mentioned in the text; and items in the text not included in the list), interruption in the flow of logic (contents that jump out at the readers), hard-to-understand passages, etc.
  3. Reference list compilation: Look up the references and compile a complete reference list in APA style.

5)     Good citizenship: All manuscripts should pertain to the general topic of peace psychology. The lengths should be reasonable (with a maximum word count of 8000 including title page, abstract, references, tables and figures). The requester should be the first or second author on the manuscript, and a member of Division 48.


Program Procedures

1)     Join the program: Individuals may register for the program by following the link below and complete the 8-question survey (pertaining to email address, area of expertise, experience in the field, and types of review one is willing to undertake)a.

2)     Get activated: Although you may register anytime using the link above, your information will be incorporated into the program biannually by the SEC chair or someone appointed by the chair. In other words, your status is activated in early fall or early spring although the timing will vary (when you finish registering, you’ll be informed of your activation time). A table and an email list will be provided for everyone in the Exchange biannually.

3)     Request a review: A requester will consult the table and ping a reviewer directly in a private email or send a group email to the Exchange. Be sure to include the basic information of your manuscript such as the title, abstract, key words, word count and the type of review desired.

4)     Respond to a request: A reviewer will respond to the email privately or via group email. It is the requester’s responsibility to ensure that only one reviewer is working on your manuscript at a given time.

5)     Log work received: As soon as a requester receives a review, he/she should immediately complete the 8-question survey belowa.

6)   Log work completed: As soon as a reviewer returns the manuscript, he/she should immediately complete the 8-questions below to log their worka.

7)   Manage the Exchange: The SEC chair (or someone appointed by the chair) will reconcile the two aforementioned logs biannually. The success of this program in part depends on the ability to actively manage the Exchange. The SEC chair retains the right to update the tables and lists of the Exchange biannually but also at any time of the year as he/she sees fit.