Peer review refers to the assessment of research or researchers by others working in the same or a related field. Peer review is used in the selection of works for publication, in the evaluation of funding applications and in the selection and promotion of staff. Peer review plays an important role in research by helping to maintain high standards and encourage accurate, thorough and credible research reporting. It is therefore important that peer review is fair, impartial and independent.

All researchers can expect to have their work peer-reviewed. Participation as a reviewer is therefore a responsibility of researchers. Participation also provides advantages to individuals by affording them a better understanding of the peer review system and by honing their critical evaluation skills.

Different peer review activities will require varying levels of assessment and reporting and researchers must follow the relevant guidelines (e.g., of a journal or funding body). The general principles of responsible peer review require that researchers provide an assessment that is fair, rigorous, timely and maintains confidentiality of the material, as articulated in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018).

Researchers must comply with the University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy when undertaking or undergoing peer review. It is important that researchers acknowledge and disclose relevant conflicts of interest when undertaking a review and do not seek to influence the process or outcomes when their work is undergoing review.

Additional resources

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) – UQ began transitioning to the 2018 Code in April 2019 (transition details available here)

Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers (Committee on Publication Ethics)

How to Review a Manuscript  webcasts (Elsevier)