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For Reviewers

What you need to know before reviewing

Benefits to your career

Reviewers are essential to the scholarly publishing process. Academics rely on peer review to corroborate their research and add value to it through critical engagement, before publication. Always endeavouring to publish quality research, Emerald depends on effective peer review processes to uphold the integrity of the journals and individual articles we publish.Image: Career.

As specialists in a given area of research, reviewers are well placed to assess the soundness of another author's work and share their own knowledge, furthering the research. This act of review also has huge benefits for the reviewer themselves:

  • As a reviewer you are supporting the body of knowledge and therefore increasing your reputation as a participatory academic.
  • You are also establishing yourself as an expert in a given field of research by acting on a board of reviewers.
  • You're able to interact with the cutting-edge research in your area, before it has even been published.
  • Exercise your critical thinking skills in a private arena.
  • Return the favour – others review your papers; get involved to repay the courtesy.
  • Building a relationship with reputable journals and their editorial teams can increase your opportunity of being invited to join an Editorial Board.
  • Reviewer Rewards

Image: Calendar.Do you have the time?

Reviewing an article can be time consuming. Reviews are most beneficial to authors when they are thorough and specific.

As such, it is better not to review if you don’t have the time, than to take on a review and not be able to give it your full attention.

Be sure to assess your other commitments before replying to an Editor's invitation to review. You can always recommend a colleague who has more free time and make it clear that you would like to review in the future.


Image: Tick.Are you suitable as a reviewer?

Does it truly match your area of expertise?

The Editor who has approached you may not be familiar with the details of your work, but rather may only be aware of your work in a broader context. Only accept an invitation if you are competent to review the article.

To help the Editor match you with the right paper, please keep your Scholar One accounts up to date with relevant keywords and institutional details.

Are you able to manage the deadlines given?

Deadlines for reviews vary per journal. You will be informed of the deadline when you are invited to review. Please let the Editor know that you received their request within a couple of days. Timeliness is an essential part of the review process and not replying to an invitation can significantly increase a papers time in review. There are no repercussions for declining an invitation to review.

If you feel the review will take you longer to complete than normal, please contact the Editor to discuss the matter. The Editor may ask you to recommend an alternate reviewer, or may be willing to wait a little longer (e.g., if the paper is highly specialized and reviewers are difficult to find). As a general guideline, if you know you will not be able to complete a review within the time frame requested, you should decline to review the paper.

Image: Integrity.Avoid potential conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest will not necessarily eliminate you from reviewing an article, but full disclosure to the Editor will allow them to make an informed decision.

For example; if you work in the same department or institute as one of the authors; if you have worked on a paper previously with an author; or you have a professional or financial connection to the article. These should all be listed when responding to the Editor's invitation for review.