Patient peer review for the Research Involvement and Engagement journal

Research Involvement and Engagement is an interdisciplinary, health and social care journal focussing on patient and wider involvement and engagement in research, at all stages. The journal is co-produced by all key stakeholders, including patients, academics, policy makers and service users.

Research Involvement and Engagement involves academics, policy makers, patients and service users, with a unique governance structure. The journal welcome articles from anyone involved or engaged with research into supporting, encouraging or delivering the patient and public voice in research processes or structures.

Assuring the validity and coherence of submissions to this journal and their published findings is dependent on the service and judgment of the journal’s peer reviewers, with submissions peer reviewed by both academic and patient reviewers, and their reports carrying equal weight in the editorial decisions. The journal’s editors therefore invite you to join as peer reviewers willing to be invited to complete specialist peer review of submissions to the Research Involvement and Engagement journal.

The journal encourages you to consider supporting this initiative, which provides an essential service to assure the quality of these research outputs. In addition to recording the role of peer reviewer for Research Involvement and Engagement on CVs, the journal can provide a branded letter to record peer review contributions on request. As an ‘Open Peer Review’ journal, you can also link to the freely accessible reviewer reports, which are published alongside articles in Research Involvement and Engagement.

Research Involvement and Engagement understands that a peer-reviewed journal would not survive without the generous time and insightful comments of the reviewers, whose efforts often go unrecognised. For these reasons, the journal publicly acknowledges its peer reviewers on an annual basis.

My experience of being a peer reviewer

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing for the Research Involvement and Engagement journal for two years now, and it really is a rewarding experience. Not only are you learning about new research areas, methods, and results, but you’re also developing your own critical thinking skills, which are invaluable for so many different aspects of work. In addition, the role of patient reviewers is invaluable, as your expertise really does matter. Your questions can help the authors of submitted manuscripts to refine their outputs, so that they’re of the highest quality, and most accessible to the community. The journal publishes all of its peer reviews online, once (and if) an article is accepted for publication. You can take a look at other examples of previous peer reviews on the journal website, to see what may go into your written review. The journal does provide guidance on what you may want to look for when reviewing, but here’s an example of one review that I conducted in 2016.

Register to become a peer reviewer

To register to join the pool of peer reviewers for the Research Involvement and Engagement journal, please e-mail the Editorial Office (BioMed Central, BMC) with the subject line ‘Sign Up as Patient Peer Reviewer’ to Jansen Mabilangan:

Once you have registered your interest via email, a member of the Research Involvement and Engagement Editorial Team will enter your contact details onto their secure ‘Editorial Manager’ database as a peer reviewer, and you will receive an automated e-mail, with a link to enable you to activate your ‘Editorial Manager’ account. When activating your account online, you will be able to indicate your classifications or areas of expertise, so you are sent manuscripts to peer review that align with your interests (for example, asthma, diabetes, lupus, cancer).

Written by simonrstones

Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) is a multi-award winning patient advocate, consultant and researcher from Bolton in the United Kingdom. He was recognised in 2019 as one of the top 100 most influential people with disabilities in the UK, and was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with chronic conditions and invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood, as well as a carer for his mother. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE, board member of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA) and President of the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

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