Making the most of peer review


Peer review is fundamental to the scholarly system and has long been established as an essential means of quality control in academic publishing. However, it is not without its problems, and can’t be guaranteed to be a smooth process, so it helps if you are prepared for what can sometimes be a rocky ride. This workshop, led by Josie Dixon (Lucian Consulting) - a trainer with 15 years experience as an academic publisher -, is designed to demystify the process, and to help researchers approach it as constructively as possible, to maximise the benefit while minimising the stress!


  • What is peer review? Origins and a brief history; why is peer review controversial?
  • Taking criticism constructively: why it’s hard, and how we learn best
  • Variations between subject areas: what are the criteria?
  • Anonymity and disclosure – blind, double-blind and open review
  • What to look for in a review
  • Addressing criticism, and how to strengthen weak points
  • Peer review in publishing: process, systems and timescales
  • Ethics in peer review
  • Tone and phrasing in reviewers’ reports
  • Peer review for conferences
  • Peer review for research funding
  • The future of peer review

Learning outcomes

After having attended this workshop, participants will ...

  • understand the peer review process in a variety of academic contexts,
  • be able to take a reflective approach to taking criticism constructively,
  • know what to look for in a review, and how to read tone and phrasing,
  • know how to respond constructively.


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • academic research competences:
    • publication skills
  • interpersonal competences:
    • written communication
    • negotiation
    • persuasion
  • intellectual competences:
    • critical judgment
  • task-orientedness:
    • quality assurance
  • intellectual competences:
    • perseverance
    • self-development


For whom?

  • PhD students in the humanities and social sciences, 2nd year and beyond
  • 16 places available

When and where?

  • June 16, 2021 - 10:00-16:00
  • This course will be organized digitally


  • Registration closed since May 24, 2021
  • As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will be notified by email in due time.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Acknowledged as?

  • category 'research management & communication skills' - workshop on general research skills