2.5.2. Reviewing manuscripts

As a reviewer, your job is to provide the editor expert advice about the significance and novelty of a manuscript, the correctness (e.g. appropriate methods, controls, statistical analyses) of the work described in the manuscript, and the suitability of the manuscript for the journal (i.e. does the topic of the manuscript fit with that of the journal). The editor will typically solicit 3-5 reviews and then make a final decision based on their own opinion and that of the reviewers.

This is accomplished by reading the manuscript, noting anything that is wrong or missing from the manuscript, and finally writing a written recommendation for the reviewer. In reviewing manuscripts, it is tempting to focus only on the negative aspects of manuscripts. However, you should also try to focus on important strengths of manuscripts and champion manuscripts that you believe would be significant contributions to the scientific literature. Becoming a reviewer

Once you’ve published several papers, authors will begin to recommend you as a reviewer and editors will start to invite you to review manuscripts. You can also solicit invitations to review manuscripts, by contacting journal editors with a description of your scientific background and interest in reviewing papers for their journals. This will be most effective when you contact editors which are responsible for field. Browser journal websites to find lists of their editors. Timeline

Editors generally give reviewers 2-4 weeks to review manuscripts. If you accept an invitation to review a manuscript, it is important to submit the review on time so that the editor can make a final decision in a timely manner. Format

  1. Summary of the manuscript, including what the authors did and why its important and novel

  2. Summary of major criticisms

  3. List of major criticisms

  4. List of minor criticisms

See this example for more information. More information

There are numerous articles on how to review manuscripts