Demystifying the peer review process

Greetings students!

Myself and Dr. Amy Bauernfeind are working to draw up a list of valuable resources for guiding our graduate students through the publication process. Students are often anxious during their first experiences on both sides of the aisle--submission as corresponding author and acting as peer reviewer. These skills are rarely explicitly taught in graduate school. We hope that sharing information on the process and tips for best practices will help relieve some of these anxieties and encourage a smoother transition from consumer to producer of scientific literature. Of course, each journal will have it's own set of rules and expectations, but the links below provide an overview of the typical processes involved: writing, submission, responding to reviews, and acting as an adhoc reviewer.

This list is growing and evolving. Any tips or resources you'd like to share? Mention them in the comments!


A fantastic overview of the peer-review process, from writing to submission, to responding to reviewers:  Higher Education Network Blog (The Guardian) โ€œHow to get published in an academic journal: top tips from editorsโ€

A more elaborate overview of the process with tips from editors and experienced researchers: "Peer Review, the Nuts and Bolts: a guide for early career researchers" from Sense About Science, charitable trust.

Writing a Journal Article:

Submitting a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article:

Surviving Resubmission or Rejection:

  • Harris MS (2015) Revise and Resubmit. An essay on how academics should approach the resubmission process. Inside Higher Education. 
  • Belcher WL (2009) When a Journal Says 'No'. An essay on rejection. Inside Higher Education
  • Martin B (2013) Learning to Love Rejection. An essay on the importance of rejection in your budding academic career. Inside Higher Education.

Conducting a Peer Review:

Postdoc job opening

WashU anatomy is a great place to be! The position offers an opportunity to gain experience teaching in a top ranked Medical School anatomy course and to conduct research in the Department of Neuroscience. The anatomy faculty within the Dept. of Neuroscience enjoy strong affiliations with Washington University department of Anthropology.

If you have a background in anatomy teaching and are interested in working on craniodental morphometrics, paleoneurology, or other aspects of biological anthropology, I invite you to apply to work in the Allen Lab:

Anatomy Teaching Postdoc Position: Washington University School of Medicine

The Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis is seeking a full-time Postdoctoral Fellow with experience in, and enthusiasm for, the teaching of Human Anatomy to first year medical students in the course โ€œThe Human Body: Anatomy, Embryology & Imagingโ€. Teaching experience in other anatomically related fields, such as Neuroscience and/or Histology, while not required, would be desirable.

Washington University School of Medicine offers many exciting opportunities for research collaborations and it is expected that the applicant will pursue research within a laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience.

Preference will be given to research areas of current faculty including Biological Anthropology, Paleoanthropology, Cranial and/or Dental Morphometrics, Bioinformatics, Comparative Neurobiology and other aspects of Neuroscience.

Appointment, with annual review, may be for up to three years. Applicants should have completed a Ph.D., or equivalent degree, and have experience in teaching cadaver-based Human Anatomy.

Applicants should send a letter summarizing teaching and research experience, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references to Glenn Conroy ( Applications will be evaluated by a search committee, with final appointment approved by the Department Chairman.

Position start date is July 1, 2016. Screening of applications will begin immediately. Please submit all materials before Feb. 28, 2016.

Further information about the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine can be found at