Understanding the peer review process


About this module

The peer review process is centuries old. In this module, we explore why this grand dame of scholarly publishing still has such a crucial role to play.

We start by looking at how peer review weeds out weak or unethically sound research and maintains the high quality of published papers. We examine what motivates reviewers to actively give of their time, and highlight some of the benefits reviewing can bring. We learn how a typical peer review process works, and why a systematic approach to writing a review is so important. And, we explore the responsibilities that reviewing brings.   

Early career researchers will come away with a clear understanding of the value of peer review and gain new insights into why this traditional process has survived the test of time. 

About the teacher

Jaap van Harten

Executive Publisher Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Elsevier

Jaap van Harten was trained as a pharmacist at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and got a PhD in clinical pharmacology in 1988. He then joined Solvay Pharmaceuticals, where he held positions in pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology, medical marketing, and regulatory affairs. In 2000 he moved to Excerpta Medica, Elsevier’s Medical Communications branch, where he headed the Medical Department and the Strategic Publication Planning Department.