Peer review is a vital part of academic publishing. And if you\u2019re submitting a research paper to a journal, you\u2019ll need to negotiate the peer review process. But how does this work? In this post, we set out the basics.\r\nWhat Is Peer Review?\r\nThe peer review process is quality control for academic writing. Its aim is to ensure journals only publish high-quality research. This works as follows:\r\n\r\n\tAn author or authors write and submit an article based on their research.\r\n\tAn editor assesses the article and invites other academics who work in the same area to review it (these are the "peers" from "peer review").\r\n\tThe reviewers evaluate the article, providing feedback to the author and a recommendation on whether the journal should publish it.\r\n\tIf required, the author makes changes based on the review.\r\n\tOnce the editor is satisfied, they approve it for publication.\r\n\r\nThe details of this may vary from journal to journal (e.g., there are different types of peer review). But all quality academic journals use peer review of some kind, so it's important to understand the processes involved.\r\nWhat Are the Possible Outcomes?\r\nWhen the reviewers have read your article, they will provide feedback to the editor. After that, you will usually get one of five responses:\r\n\r\n\tUnconditional acceptance \u2013 The journal accepts the article without any revisions. The editorial team will then prepare it for publication.\r\n\tConditional acceptance (minor revisions) \u2013 The reviewers like your article but spotted a few things that need clarifying or correcting. You\u2019ll then need to make revisions based on the reviewer feedback, which the editor will check before approving it for publication.\r\n\tConditional acceptance (major revisions) \u2013 The journal wants to publish the article, but you will need to make significant revisions first. After you've made revisions, the reviewers will check it again to see whether you addressed the issues raised previously. And assuming they're happy with the changes, the editor will approve it for publication.\r\n\tConditional rejection \u2013 The journal is not interested in the article in its current form. However, if there are elements of the paper they find interesting, they may invite you to rewrite it and submit a new version.\r\n\tFull rejection \u2013 The journal has decided it is not interested in your article. This may be because the topic falls outside the scope of what they publish. Or it may simply fail to meet the technical requirements for publication (e.g., it was under the minimum word count).\r\n\r\nThis process can be very competitive and it is rare to get an unconditional acceptance. Even being asked to make major revisions is a success. As such, you may need to have thick skin as an academic writer!\r\nEven if you\u2019re not successful, though, every peer review is a learning opportunity. And if you do your research, pick the right journal, and follow its submission instructions, you can boost your chances of publication.\r\nExpert Academic Proofreading\r\nBefore submitting an article to a journal, get it proofread. This will help you communicate your ideas clearly and concisely, as well as making sure your article is error free, increasing the likelihood of it being published.\r\nTo find out more, submit a free trial document for proofreading today.