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Reviewer guidelines

Our reviewers play a crucial role in the publication process with a wide range of responsibilities. We have developed some reviewer guidelines to support you at each stage of the process.

Before you review

You will receive an email inviting you to review for a journal, case study or book proposal with the option to accept or decline.

Here are some things to think about before you make your decision...

Time

Journal editors are looking for reviews that are thorough and specific. If you are unsure whether you have the capacity to deliver that level of quality, you can always recommend a colleague who has more free time. If you might like to review for the journal when you are less busy, don’t forget to let the editor know.
 

Best match

The editor may not be familiar with the finer details of your work, so you are best placed to judge whether you have the expertise required. To help the editor match you with the right paper, please keep your ScholarOne accounts up to date with relevant keywords and institutional details.

 

Deadlines

If an editor asks you to carry out a review, it’s a good idea to respond confirming you’ve received their request, even if you are unsure yet whether you will accept. The period of time allocated for the review will vary per journal and the editor will inform you of the time-frame when they invite you. 

Conflicts of interest

Fully disclose any potential conflict of interest; it won’t necessarily eliminate you but will help the editorial team make an informed decision, for example:

  • Working in the same department/institute as an author
  • Having co-written with an author in the past
  • Professional or financial connections to the research

Review the manuscript

You will be asked detailed questions to encourage you to consider all aspects of the manuscript. For journals and case studies, you will complete the fields on the Review and Score tab in the reviewer centre on ScholarOne. Although the questions may vary depending on the journal or publication, we have highlighted some areas for consideration.

Make your recommendation

You will make an overall recommendation to the editor or publisher to complete your review and they will take this into account when they make their decision. The most common recommendation criteria are:

  • Accept
  • Minor revisions required
  • Major revisions required
  • Reject

Minor revisions

This varies from journal to journal. However, minor revisions often require the author to make relatively small adjustments to the paper, which don’t take much time. They might be related to author guideline requirements, e.g. a slight reduction in word count; formatting changes, such as the labelling of tables or figures; further evidence of an understanding of the research literature in the field; or a slight elaboration on the research findings.

Major revisions

Major revisions often require the author to make more significant improvements, the type which take weeks or even months, rather than days. Authors may be asked to address flaws in the methodology; collect more data; conduct a more thorough analysis; or even adjust the research question to ensure the paper contributes something truly original to the body of work.

Related topics

Peer review process

Our helpful peer review infographics guide you through each step of the process. We also explain some of the peer review models you might encounter and explore their pros and cons.

Peer review process

Become a reviewer

Whether this is your first time reviewing or you are a seasoned professional, we explain why you should say yes next time an editor asks you to review.

Become a reviewer