Mastering Peer Review

Kuala Lumpur: Peer review is a necessary and trusted step of scientific communication to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility for research work. Research manuscripts are subjected to reviews by counterparts from the same field before they are accepted to be published in a research journal and may take the form of a blind review, double-blind review or open review.

Both publications and peer review take a long time but remain the touchstone for any scholar's work. The research work one does is not considered complete until it is published and peer reviews help to validate one's work and build networking amongst the research community. 

Every researcher will encounter peer review either as an author when they submit their work to journals for publications or as reviewers themselves when they are asked to comment on a manuscript by a journal editor. In light of this, business academics from UCSI University took part in a review writing workshop cum competition recently to sharpen this particular skill. 

The workshop/competition was organised for the very first time by UCSI's Faculty of Business and Information Science (FoBIS) in joint collaboration with the United Kingdom-based academic journal publisher Emerald Publishing Limited and was attended by 30 academicians from UCSI University, UCSI subsidiaries as well as from other universities. 

An expert on scholarly publishing, Mr. Ben S'ng, senior consultant at Emerald Publishing, presented tips and guidance on successfully publishing research articles before giving out a selected journal article to be reviewed to the participants/contestants. 

Reviewing articles requires critical skill and academic rigor to ascertain the theoretical contribution and methodologies within the research context. It is not merely a summation but involves a thorough analysis of the contributions and demerits according to designated parameters of evaluation. It has to comprehensive yet balanced and unbiased in nature and substance. 

The participants were given two hours to complete their review process and the submissions were assessed by an expert panel made up of Mr Ben Sng as well as Dr. Siong-Choy Chong, Chief Technical Officer (Quality Assurance) at Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA), Mr Garry Wei-Han Tan, Senior Lecturer at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman as well as Dr Ooi Keng-Boon, Professor of Industrial Management & Information Systems and Dean of the Faculty of Business & Information Science (FOBIS) from UCSI University. 

The same team then also shared their experience and pointers on reviewing articles. The top three winners were Hew Jun Jie, Wong Lai Wan and Rajat Subhra Chatterjee while all other participants received a certificate of participation. FOBIS hopes to organise more initiatives like this workshop to strengthen the research capacity and capability of academicians as part of its mission in being leading business education provider informed by research insights. 

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