How To Become A Reviewer: Tips And Job Ideas For Peer Reviewing

Both peer-review and product review are essential to have better final productions. In this article, I will be focusing on peer review, but the ones interested in products review can find more information here.

Becoming a reviewer requires expertise on a topic, an excellent scientific background, some experience in academic writing, and knowledge about the peer-reviewing process. Peer reviewers evaluate the production of other researchers or students who work in the same field. Plus, it leads to scholarly publications of higher scientific quality.

From SAGE Publishing: How to Conduct a Peer Review

For example, journal editors select new reviewers depending on educational background, experience, peer recommendations and check if you have previous successful publications. Peer reviewers provide a review report that helps the editor decide if an article is worth publishing.

People with a postgraduate academic degree who are involved in publications are more likely to find reviewer jobs. Here are a few examples of peer reviewers occupation:

You can take part in three different types of peer review:

  • the open review where both author and reviewer are identified
  • the single-blind review where the author does not know the name of the reviewer
  • the double-blind review where neither the author nor the reviewer knows the name of each other.
Becoming a peer reviewer

10 tips to become a peer reviewer

There are various ways to become a reviewer, and not all reviewing jobs necessitate the same skills. However, there are some specific tips you can apply to become a reviewer:

Join a reviewer group: Join a Facebook group like The Creative Launcher-Peer Reviewed Journal or a LinkedIn group like Peer Review. Networking is one of the most potent ways to enter a profession. 

Utilize word-of-mouth recommendations: Do not hesitate to tell people about your project because you never know who can get you in touch with the right editor. 

 Ask a senior researcher to mentor you: getting started becomes more manageable if you can find a mentor. 

Participate in events: Attend live webinars, web events, and conferences for reviewers to connect with editors.

Take a reviewer training course: It is possible to take a QM-Certified Peer Reviewers course or enroll in the Elsevier certified course in peer-reviewing. It will give you more expertise and improve your chance of landing a job.

Best tips and tricks to becoming a peer reviewer

Start a research blog: Getting accepted for a reviewer job often depends on your experience. Publishing consistently on a research blog helps sharpen your writing skills and shows your ability to review future publications.   

Create a professional journal website: endorsing the role of an editor will give you confidence and make you a better candidate for your upcoming review. You can easily create your professional journal by using a platform like Scholastica

Get in touch with editors: When you find journals that fit you, write to the senior managing editor. Showcase your previous experience regarding publications or peer reviews. In some cases, you will get a better chance to get noticed by associate editors.

Join reviewer databases and researcher networks: It would also be better if you are on many reviewer databases and use websites like Early Career Reviewer DatabaseResearchGatePublonsF1000Research, or ORCID to speed up publications and get more accessible. You can also use platforms that facilitate open scientific exchange, like MDPI.

Create a portfolio website: building your own portfolio website will help you showcase your skills and display online your previous reviews. It will be easier for editors to see your best productions. Squarespace is one of the best options to consider when you are ready to create your portfolio website.  

10 reviewer jobs you can try right now

In 2021, most job applications for peer reviewers are done online. Publishers use databases and journal Here are 10 peer reviewer job ideas:

List of 10 jobs for reviewers: Film reviewer, Goodreads reviewer, Elsevier peer reviewing and journal peer reviewer jobs, HRSA site reviewer, Netgalley reviewer, NIH reviewer, QAA reviewer, Springer reviewer, IEEE reviewer.

How to become a film reviewer or a film critic

To start your journey as a film reviewer, first earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in journalism, film studios, or other related fields like a master in English literature. For example, you can earn an online degree related to entertainment or filming at Full Sail University to get started. The next milestone is to gain some experience as well as learning about films.

Next, build analytical and critical skills to analyze the direction of flows of the film industry. Once you start gaining practical experience, then focus on building your portfolio side by side. Real-life experience is as important as a degree, so start applying in small reviewing firms to earn a reputation.

Salary majorly depends upon your location and educational background, but roughly a film review writer can make 60-80k dollars annually.

From IGN YouTube channel: How To… Be A Film Critic

Film criticism is closely related to journalism. It means you can apply many journalism techniques in addition to the following tips: 

  • Learn the language and the elements of a film: specific vocabulary and terms, the three-act structure, the technical aspect, etc. 
  • Develop your writing skills
  • Develop the habit of watching movies in an unbiased way
  • Extend your knowledge by watching various types of movies and film genres.
  • Read and know how to interpret movie scripts
  • Master film analysis and criticism approaches
  • Follow a brief or an article outline
  • Acquire knowledge about the film industry and story by reading and using other media types. Critics
  • Stay up-to-date and grasp trends. 

Once you have a handsome portfolio on your back, apply for a movie critic job on websites like UK film review and Rotten Tomatoes. Later, you can also join The National Society of Film Critics, fostering mutual interests in filmmaking and film criticism.

How to become a Goodreads reviewer

Becoming a Goodreads reviewer is a creative work where you need to have an account on Goodreads. Now search for your intended book to whom you want to review. Next, underneath the book cover image, move your cursor over the stars until the desired number of stars is highlighted.

Simply clicking stars will add your rating for that particular book. Finally, from a pop-up menu, write an honest review of the book. To become an efficient Goodreads reviewer, you need to be a good writer and critique.

From Miranda Reads Channel: How to Use Goodreads (For Beginners)

Once you become an expert and you have to build a well-reputed profile, then publishers, authors, and firms may contact you to write reviews for their publications. So, at first, the only takeaway of this reviewing website is getting free books in return for reviews.

The long-term benefits are to establish a portfolio, showcase your writing ability, be part of a community, and most importantly can help you land your first reviewer contract.

How to become a reviewer for Elsevier [Journal Peer Reviewer]

The journey of becoming an Elsevier reviewer starts with signing up. Before that, you need to identify your interest and field of expertise. Once you have inserted your interests, now it’s time to upload your publications, if you have any.

Also, mention the reason and force behind motivation to be a reviewer. After submission of these details, all the editors of the concerned field will get a notification.

Whenever editors need a review, they may invite you to review the journal using your provided contact information. It’s a completely free program that makes you build authority in your relevant field and help you to join as a reviewer in a journal.

How to become an HRSA site reviewer

Becoming an HRSA site reviewer starts with registering in the Reviewer Recruitment Module (RRM). Before applying for RRM, make sure you have the required expertise in any field of health care. Next, create an RRM account and add all required personal information to it.

Now choose a general description in elaborate areas of expertise. Finally, add your resume information in a searchable box or, most appropriately, text box. Finally, attach and upload your resume.

Reviewers usually use their expertise to evaluate and rate applications against pre-established publication criteria. HRSA reviewers get pay compensation from the governmental funds. Their average annual salaries fall between 50-60k dollars. You can also find here more information on how to become a grant reviewer.

How to become a Yale reviewer

Peer review is fundamental to guarantee that all publications are honest and scientifically accurate. This is why Yale University uses peer reviewers to evaluate manuscripts of future publications. 

They now use the web-based software platform Scholastica to manage their peer review committee of hundreds of Worldwide scientists. It eases communication to reviewers and authors. You can join the Yale peer database here. After you have completed all the information you can receive requests for peer reviews.

How to become a Netgalley reviewer

Becoming a Netgalley reviewer starts with signing up and then building your profile. The prime focus of profile building should be how you would add value to the industry. Provide links to your already written reviews on social media or websites.

Highlight your reading preferences and keep an eye on the publisher’s approval preferences. Making unnecessary requests, especially out of the field of your interest, can harm your profile.

Focus on the reasons for declined requests and avoid those issues. Read and review the new arrivals and stay organized. Netgalley doesn’t pay anything to reviewers, but you can get pre-publication copies of various books for free.

How to become a NIH reviewer

To start your journey at NIH as a reviewer offers you multiple ways to reach out to them depending upon your experience and educational background. You can start with Early Career Reviewer Program if you are a newbie and want to get the attention of Scientific Review Officials (SROs).

There you can apply via their online portal with your CV and eRA commons personal profile. If you are a researcher with an established research background, you can directly send a CV to SROs.

You can search for an SRO relevant to your field from the Center for Scientific Review website. There’s an easier of getting SROs attention by regularly updating your eRA profile. An NIH reviewer receives a flat rate stipend of $235 for every face-to-face peer review.

How to become a QAA reviewer

The journey of becoming a QAA reviewer starts with filling a QAA form available on their website. Before filling out that, it is strongly recommended to read the characteristics needed in candidates by the QAA team.

It’s just an expression of interest form, which anyone from universities, colleges, or any tier of education can fill. The team of 400 reviewers even includes postgrads, but the majority are with doctorate degrees.

These reviewers then ensure the quality of education and other facilities provided in those institutions are up to the mark. Their salaries and other incentives vary depending upon their location and educational as well as career background.

How to become a Springer peer reviewer

Applying for a Springer reviewer job is a straightforward process, and you will find all the information here. You will also find a mini-tutorial on how to become a reviewer and a link to their partner  American Journal Experts that support researchers and reviewers in the publishing process.    

You are not expected to be an author to get accepted as a Springer peer reviewer. By joining the community of reviewers of Springer Science+Business Media, you contribute to enhance the work of scientific researchers.

From SpringerVideos YouTube channel: Benefits of publishing with Springer

Becoming an IEEE reviewer

The IEEE has a peer-review process based on invitations. IEEE sends invitations to reviewers who have expertise in the topic covered by an article. If you are interested in being an IEEE reviewer, you can find more information here. You will play an essential role in the publishing process by providing constructive feedback. 

Extra peer review resources

Here are some extra resources you can use to get started as a peer reviewer:

By joining reviewer communities and databases, it becomes easier to submit your peer reviewer application. In many cases, peer review relies on invitations, and editors send the request for peer review.

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