Before you accept or decline, consider the following questions:
- Does the article match your area of expertise? Only accept if you feel you can provide a high quality review.
- Do you have a potential conflict of interest? Disclose this to the editor when you respond.
- Do you have time? Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline.
Your review report
Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. Giving your overall opinion and general observations of the article is essential. Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any personal remarks or personal details including your name.
Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your judgements so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data.
When you make a recommendation, it is worth considering the categories the editor most likely uses for classifying the article:
- Reject (explain reason in report)
- Accept without revision
- Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article)
The final decision
Give specific comments and suggestions, including about layout and format, Title, Abstract, Introduction, Graphical Abstracts and/or Highlights, Method, statistical errors, Results, Conclusion/Discussion, language and References.