A ‘Nuts and bolts of peer review’ workshop: 5 take home messages

We’ve been supporting Sense about Science’s work on peer review for some time, including sponsoring their ‘Nuts and bolts of peer review’ workshops. To give you an insight into these events, and just what researchers can gain from taking part, we asked one attendee to tell us what they thought afterwards.

“Speakers included seasoned academics who shared their personal experiences of peer reviewing”

Sense about Science hosted a half day workshop at Glasgow Caledonian University. The free workshop was open to young researchers in Scotland who were interested in learning more about the peer review process. Speakers included seasoned academics who shared their personal experiences of peer reviewing, as well as Sarah Robbie from Taylor & Francis who shared her list of dos and don’ts.

“It provided me with the opportunity to participate in discussions with academics that are currently in the same stage of their career development and share common barriers we face”

The workshop covered how peer review works, how to get involved at various levels and addressed numerous issues including challenges to the peer process and the role that peer review plays in protecting the general public. As a young researcher it provided me with the opportunity to participate in discussions with academics that are currently in the same stage of their career development and share common barriers we face in the goal to publish. Further, the events create a space for young researchers to network with other researchers from different universities.

My 5 take home messages

  1. Peer review can be a daunting process for a researcher at any stage of their career.
  2. Peer review is central to publications in the scientific community and an unavoidable part of academia.
  3. The peer review process aims to evaluate the quality of the research and the eligibility of the work for a specific publication.
  4. Peer review should be conducted by researchers who are experts in your field who have the ability to provide appropriate and fair feedback.
  5. The peer review process can be used as an opportunity to better your own work and learn from others within your field.

Do you have questions on peer review? We have lots of useful resources to help support you, from guidance on what to expect during peer review, what goes on behind the scenes and ethics to research on authors, reviewers and editors attitudes to the process.


Caitlin Longman is a second year PhD student researching health professionals’ practices regarding secondary stroke prevention and self-management. Caitlin is a speech therapist and audiologist from South Africa who has an interest in stroke, aphasia and health communication. She received her BA (Speech & Hearing) and MA (Speech Pathology) from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and her MSc (Global Health) from the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.