Reviewers: Conducting a Review
To be a reviewer for an OJS journal, you’ll first need to register. You can follow these steps to create an account and get logged in. If registered some time ago, and have forgotten your password, follow these instructionsto get it going again.
Once you’ve registered as a reviewer, you’ll know you have an assignment when you receive an email from the editor. The email will include the deadlines, giving you a good indication of whether you’ll have the time to do the review.
To do the review, you need to login to OJS and select your role as a Reviewer.
From here, you’ll see the assignment listed. Select its linked title to see the details.
On the resulting page, you will have everything you need to do the review.
Submission to be Reviewed
In this section, you’ll see a few details about the submission, including the title, abstract, editor, and metadata. Note that the identity is NOT available, as this is a double-blind peer review process.
In this section, you’ll see all of the important dates associated with the submission. In particular, pay attention to the Review Due Date. If you can’t realistically complete the review before this date, you should decline. Meeting the due date is critically important for the editor and the journal.
In this section, you’ll see the 5 steps in performing the review:
1. Let the editor know if you can do the review or not. This is important, as it lets the editor know if she needs to ask someone else. Respond to this as soon as possible. If you are procrastinating here, you probably don’t really have time to accept.
2. From here, download the manuscript. It should already be stripped of anything that could identify the author. Read the file in your word processor. If you’ve never written a review before, consult this module. Some reviewers like to use the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word to record their comments and suggested revisions. Feel free to do so.
3. In this step, you might have one large text box, or a series of questions to answer, depending on the journal. Answer the questions and/or fill in the box with your comments. Keep in mind that the comments may be shared with the author. You should always be polite and constructive in your critique.
4. Here, you can upload the revised manuscript, if you marked it up that way. This is not required, however, and the comments in step 3 above can be sufficient.
5. Lastly, you must make a recommendation based on your evaluation of the manuscript. You may encounter the following options:
- Accept Submission: this is rarely used, but indicates that the submission should be accepted with no changes.
- Revisions Required: this is commonly used, and indicates that the author needs to make some small changes before publication. The changes will be reviewed by the editor and no further peer review will be required.
- Resubmit for Review: this indicates that major changes are required, but the submission does show promise. The author will need to make the requested changes and go through another round of peer review, possibly with you or with a new reviewer.
- Resubmit Elsewhere: the submission looks good, but isn’t suitable for this journal. Typically it falls outside the scope of the journal.
- Decline Submission: this indicates that the submission is too far below the standards of the journal and is beyond revision.
Once you’ve made your recommendation, your role in the process is completed.