Become a Reviewer

How to become a reviewer

The HLRC editors are constantly looking for new peer reviewers. The editors seek peer reviewers who are experts in research, policy, and practice. Editors will also consider doctoral students majoring in education.

Those interested in volunteering may contact the editor in chief ( and offer their reviewing services. HLRC editors offer training and support for new reviewers who have never conducted a review.

What is peer review?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines peer review as “a process by which a scholarly work is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted.” In other words, peer review is the academic equivalent of quality assurance.

Types of peer review

There are several ways to conduct peer reviews. The most common is a blind review:

  • Single blind: The names of the reviewers are hidden from the author(s).
  • Double blind: Both the reviewers and authors are anonymous.

Other, more recent review methods may include:

  • Open: Reviewers and authors are known to each other.
  • Collaborative: Reviewers examine the manuscript as a group, not individually. This review may be single blind, double blind, or open.
  • Post-publication: Manuscript is published as submitted so that others may review it openly. Reviews may be conducted by formally invited reviewers or volunteer reviewers.

HLRC editors employ the double-blind review method.

Why become a reviewer?

Peer reviewers play a major role in academic publishing. They guard the scientific process, assure the integrity of academic journals, assess and validate the quality of research, and prevent the dissemination of irrelevant or inaccurate information.

By becoming a peer reviewer, individuals improve their research skills, keep up to date with the latest research trends, gain reputation as experts in their fields, and advance their careers as researchers and scholars.

How to conduct a review

Peer review involves evaluating a manuscript based on criteria such as contribution to existing knowledge, conceptual/theoretical framework and consistency with current literature, and significance to the field. HLRC reviewers conduct blind reviews using an online form.

The written peer review report begins with a brief summary of the study's key findings, assuring the author(s) that the reviewer has paid attention to the work. The reviewer then scrutinizes each section of the work and provides meaningful feedback in complete sentences. When writing the report, peer reviewers need to stay factual and objective and also help the author(s) understand where he or she can enhance the manuscript to provide sufficient detail.

Other considerations

Academic publishing is time sensitive, since editors want to get the latest findings out quickly. Reviewers should notify editors in a timely manner whether they are able to review the manuscript or not or if the review cannot be completed on time. Reviewers should notify editors of any potential conflicts of interest (and decline to review in such cases).

It is also essential that reviewers understand the importance of their role as gatekeepers of the academic world. As such, reviewers should provide authors timely, unbiased feedback on the merits and scientific value of the manuscript, as well as maintain the confidentiality of the process. As a peer reviewer, observing the basic principles of academic integrity is of utmost importance.