Professional Development


13 - The peer-review system I
The journals that have adopted the peer-review system have an editor that is the liaison between the Editorial staff and the author. Journals that deal with many scientific areas often have "field editors"; these auxiliary editors help the journal's principal editor select reviewers for the submitted articles and may establish direct communication with the author. People often refer to the work submitted to a journal as an "article", but this is an incorrect expression. A manuscript only becomes an article when it is in its final form, after it is accepted and published in the Journal. Therefore, we recommend that new authors always refer to the text and figures submitted to a journal as a manuscript. Here is an example of a cover letter to a journal. The author is always responsible for any correspondence that involves him or her, and this must be declared in the cover letter and on the first page of the manuscript.When the Journal receives the manuscript, the editor or field editors send the author a letter acknowledging receipt of the submitted material. Then, two reviewers also called "referees" are designated. These two reviewers are qualified professionals and specialists in the same area as the research conducted. They have the necessary experience and knowledge to make an objective evaluation of the results exposed in the article. It is very important to mention that these qualified reviewers receive no financial compensation for this job. This assures their independence to evaluate the results.