Verity Warne
Verity Warne
Senior Marketing Manager, Author Marketing, Wiley

Today, Wiley presents a comprehensive guide to reviewing, in a new area of our author resources platform. Our aim for this guide is to support reviewers by providing a summary of best practice and how-to guidance with contributions from editors and experienced reviewers around the world. This is an evolving resource which we will continue to develop.

Below are our top 10 tips for reviewers:

1. Respond Promptly to Invitations

When you receive an invitation to review, the article’s abstract will help you decide whether it’s within your area of interest and expertise. Remember to respond promptly or else you might delay the process.

2. Show Integrity

Keep the contents of any manuscripts you’re reviewing confidential. You would expect the same of others reviewing your own work. What’s more, if you’ve submitted similar research of your own, or if you’ve reviewed the article for a different journal, let the editor know there’s a conflict of interest. Agreeing to a review for personal gain is not ethical practice.

3. Stay Within Scope

When commenting, make sure your remarks stay within the scope of the paper and don’t veer off subject. If you’re unclear of the scope, editorial policy, presentation and submission requirements, speak to the editor or read the Author Guidelines.

4. Be Constructive

Your review should ultimately help the author improve the paper. Be sure to offer some constructive feedback, even if your recommendation ends up being to reject.

5. Allocate Enough Time

Carefully analyzing and commenting on a manuscript can take a good chunk of time. Make sure you have enough time available when taking on a review.

6. Be Consistent

Structure your comments by numbering them. It makes the editor’s life a lot easier. You can also divide them into major and minor issues to help authors prioritize corrections. Keep comments to authors separate from the confidential ones to editors. But make sure your comments to authors correspond to your assessment on the confidential review and checklists.

7. Focus on the Research

If you’re reviewing a paper that’s in English but wasn’t written by a native speaker, it’s good to be tolerant and point out elements that change the meaning, rather than commenting on the quality of their English.

8. Look at the Conclusion First

The conclusion will give you a good idea whether the research is an exciting development within its own field.

9. Check Robustness of Facts

Editors find it useful if you comment on the number of replicates, controls and statistical analyses. Strong statistics are crucial to determining whether the outcome is robust.

10. Give Credit Where It’s Due

If a paper you’re reviewing is really good and an excellent addition to the existing literature, don’t be afraid to say so.

Which aspects of reviewing do you find most challenging, and which resources would you find helpful? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweet us @WileyExchanges.

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