THE SERVICE REQUEST
Experts on Peerwith offer “Manuscript review” services, which is essentially different from after submission peer review. The Manuscript review service on Peerwith is pre-submission and the experts that offer it, focus on what is needed in-order for your manuscript to get published.
Let’s look at a request from Marcela from Colombia. She has a paper in Physics as an example. The request is posted on the Peerwith marketplace and Marcela asks the question:
- Advice if this paper is quality enough to get published?
- Suggest any Scopus-indexed journals that are a good fit.
- Tell what is needed to get this published, like e.g. language editing.
Clearly the requirement here is to gain some reputation with a publication in an “indexed” journal, which is what we see a lot at Peerwith. Marcela in this example is not the author of the paper, she is the Publication Manager at a mid-size university in Colombia. The paper is from a researcher on her university and Marcela is basically asking for help from an expert to judge about the chance of this manuscript getting published.
Now there is one issue, the source manuscript is in Spanish language. And there are only a few experts active on Peerwith that understand Spanish, even less also know Physics. So Marcela uses the free translation service offered by Peerwith, which is a Machine Translation (MT) service. So immediately after posting the request, the Peerwith Team run the Spanish manuscript through the MT engine and posts that on the platform. There is now a Spanish version and machine translated English version. Sufficient for many more experts to do the review.
The request was posted on Peerwith at 2PM CET and it took only two hours to get the first response. Several experts respond to Marcela’s request, including expert Gary Bentley. He responds:
Hello, for the quote below, I will provide the following:
1) provide recommendations about the publish-ability of the manuscript;
2) provide recommendations about the editing requirements needed before the manuscript is sent out for review;
3) provide a list of two to three journals appropriate for your manuscript.
It is important to note that I am not making any guarantees about the likelihood that your manuscript would be accepted at all or any of these journals. Regards Gary
See how Gary mentions in the last paragraph there is no guarantee for publication at this time. He does seem willing to help our Marcela with a review for US$80. Because Gary’s profile is the best fit with the subject, Marcela accepts the quote and connects, two days after posting the request.
See Gary’s Peerwith.Expert page: http://peerwith.expert/garybentley
RESULT OF THE REVIEW
Four days after the connection is made, Gary delivers the “work” in the form of a review report and Marcela accepts. The report starts with this:
I finished reading the oceanography paper and I recommend publication (see the uploaded review). While the English will need a lot of work to make it readable to a native speaker, the science is thorough, well-executed and useful to the field of coastal oceanography.
I compared the original Spanish version to the English machine translation and the text is remarkably good. There were a few problems and anomalies but I was able to figure out what they were supposed to be since I have a reading knowledge of Spanish. Peerwith can do the language editing of the paper if you wish to submit it on the platform.
I suggested five major journals that publish research similar to that which is in this paper, but I am not an oceanographer and can’t recommend one journal over the others. You’ll have to look at the type of research each journal publishes and decide where the paper would best fit.
Gary continues his report with recommendations for the author to work on (figures, footnotes, references) as well as a recommendation to post a new request on Peerwith and ask for English Language Editing services. He concludes with a list of five recommended journal titles that he believes are a good fit with the content of the manuscript, and should be willing to accept the paper for publication if it is fully prepared.
NEXT STEP: MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION
Marcela discusses the report with the researcher / authors and decides on further preparation. She posts a second request for that and an Expert quotes English Language Editing for only $180. A comparable translation service request we expect would have come out at above $500. This is of course because of the high-quality Machine Translation step already done.
Manuscript review service on Peerwith, offered by many experienced authors and editors, is a good service to get an early idea if your manuscript is publishable or not. It doesn’t replace the post-submission peer review process, but helps in an early go / no-go decision.
On an Institutional level, it helps publication managers such as Marcela to judge about the quality of work and decide about the best work to bring forward for publication. With limited resources, these low cost, early-stage Manuscript reviews help increase scientific output for institutions that goes beyond individual cases.
The machine translation leverages this service into non-English markets. It not only reduces the costs for translations in manuscript preparation significantly, it also increases the reach for Manuscript review as no longer human translation is needed. Most important, it enlarges the pool of experts that are a fit for the job, no longer do they need to understand the language. The selection of the right expert can focus on the Expert profile, no longer with a pre-requisite of speaking a specific language.