Choosing Reviewers: Predictors of Undergraduate Manuscript Evaluations

Choosing Reviewers: Predictors of Undergraduate Manuscript Evaluations

By Christina P. Walker, Purdue University, Terri L. Towner and Lea Hilliker, Oakland University

There is a substantial amount of research examining bias in the peer-review process and its influence on the quality and content of political science journal articles. However, there is limited research examining how students peer review other undergraduate research for publication. To better understand the predictors of manuscript evaluations and build on prior literature, this study examines seven years of undergraduate peer evaluations submitted to the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics from 2013 to 2020. Empirical analyses reveal that a peer reviewer’s prior service on the editorial board (i.e., experience) and race are consistently and significantly associated with manuscript evaluations. By examining how undergraduate peer reviewers assess anonymized manuscripts, this research reveals potential biases in the political science peer-review process. Additionally, the benefits of undergraduate students participating in the peer-review process are explored and discussed.

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