News | July 21, 2022

SPIE Launches Peer-Review Training Course


BELLINGHAM, Washington — SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is now offering a peer-review training course for optics and photonics researchers. The course, aimed primarily at students and early-career professionals, offers both introductory and advanced modules.

The three-hour introductory module is an interactive e-learning course covering the nuts and bolts of how to referee a journal article, as well as guidelines for best practices. Topics include types of peer review (single blind, double blind, collaborative, cascading); ethical responsibilities; understanding what journal editors want; and giving constructive feedback. This module is also available to established researchers who would like to hone or refresh their peer-reviewing skills.

The advanced module adds to the basic one by offering downloadable tools and checklists for different stages of peer review. It focuses specifically on areas such as reviewing the methodology and statistical information within journal articles, as well as how to review for different article types. The advanced course also includes a practice review assignment specifically relevant to SPIE journals, with in-depth assessment and feedback from the course instructors.

Successful completion of this reviewer training course will be noted in the SPIE submission and reviewer database.

“Many new researchers want to learn how to referee academic papers — it’s an important skill in academia and scholarly publishing,” said SPIE Journals Manager Gwen Weerts. “But it’s hard for lab leaders and mentors to make time for this type of training, and even when they do, it can be inconsistent. This new reviewer training course will help bridge that gap, and will also help refill the over-tapped reviewer pipeline.”

This course is a co-branded project with Researcher.Life, a product of Cactus Communications. SPIE also partners with Cactus Communications for work with Editage and Impact Science.

For more information on this new program, please visit the course information page.

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $22 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development.