For Reviewers

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.

Review Schedule

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.

Review Steps

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.

For Authors

Authors: Submitting to an OJS Journal

Submitting to an OJS journal requires:

  1. Registering for an account
  2. Logging in to your account
  3. Selecting your role as an Author
  4. Selecting “Start a New Submission”
  5. Completing the 5 step submission process

Submission Step 1:

  • If the journal is multilingual, you will need to select your preferred language. If it is not, no language option will appear.
  • If the journal charges submission fees, these will be presented to the author. If the journal does not charge submission fees, this section will not appear.
  • Select a Journal Section that best fits with your submission.
  • Next, the author must check each of the items from the submission checklist.
  • The journal’s copyright policy will appear next, and, if configured as a requirement, the author will need to agree to this policy. If the journal has not added a Copyright Notice, this section will not appear.
  • Authors can then review the Privacy Statement. If the journal has not added a Privacy Statement, this section will not appear.
  • Finally, the author can add any comments, which will be visible to the editor.
    Move to the next step by hitting the Save and Continue button.

Submission Step 2:

Submission Step Two allows you to upload the submission file, typically a word-processor document (e.g., Microsoft Word).
On this page, click Choose File which opens a Choose File window for locating the file on the hard drive of your computer.

  • Locate the file you wish to submit and highlight it.
  • Click Open on the Choose File window, which places the name of the file on this page.
  • Click Upload on this page, which uploads the file from the computer to the journal’s web site and renames it following the journal’s conventions.
    Once the submission is uploaded, click Save and Continue at the bottom of this page.

Submission Step 3:

The third step of the submission process serves to collect all relevant metadata from the author.

  • The first section of metadata covers the authors. The submitting author will have their personal information automatically appear.
  • Any additional information, such as Competing Interests should also be added at this time, if required.
  • If there are multiple authors for the submission, their information can be added using the Add Author button. You can also re-order the list of authors, make one of the authors the principal contact with the editor, and delete any authors added in error.
  • Next, enter the submission title and abstract.
  • You will then add indexing information. This will help others find your article.
  • The next section allows you to enter the name of any organization that may have supported your research.
  • Depending on how the journal is configured, you may find an option to provide your list of references separately. This will allow the journal’s Editors and Copyeditors to check your references using a Citation Markup Assistant. You should provide your list with each reference on a separate line.
    Hit the Save and Continue button to move on to Step 4.

Submission Step 4:

This step is optional. If you have any supplementary files, such as research instruments, data sets, etc., you may add them here. These files are also indexed by the author, identifying their relation to the submission, as well as their ownership. Supplementary Files can be uploaded in any file format and will be made available to readers in their original format.

  • On this page, click Choose File which opens a Choose File window for locating the file on the hard drive of your computer.
  • Locate the file you wish to submit and highlight it.
  • Click Open on the Choose File window, which places the name of the file on this page.
  • Click Upload on this page, which uploads the file from the computer to the journal’s web site and renames it following the journal’s conventions.
  • You must now enter a title for the supplementary file, and optionally, any additional descriptive information.
    Once the submission is uploaded, click Save and Continue.

Submission Step 5:

This final step provides a summary of your submission.

If the journal charges submission, fast-track review, or publication fees, your required payment will also be detailed here. If you paid previously, use the checkbox to indicate that you have. If you require a fee waiver to be considered, check that box and an provide an explanation (required).

Click Finish Submission to submit your manuscript. You will receive an acknowledgement by email and will be able to view your submission’s progress through the review and editorial process by returning to the Active Submissions section of your Author page.

OJS Training

OJS Features

  1. OJS is installed locally and locally controlled.
  2. Editors configure requirements, sections, review process, etc.
  3. Online submission and management of all content.
  4. Subscription module with delayed open access options.
  5. Comprehensive indexing of content part of global system.
  6. Reading Tools for content, based on field and editors’ choice.
  7. Email notification and commenting ability for readers.
  8. Complete context-sensitive online Help support.



Be our Peer Reviewer

Becoming a Reviewer

Hello and welcome!        This  is designed to help you become a successful reviewer of a scientific or scholarly journal. You’ll find all of the basics covered in this course, as well as pointers toward more advanced topics.

If you work through all of the modules in this course, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the critical role played by reviewers in advancing science and scholarship.
  2. Discover the professional benefits you will receive by volunteering your time as a reviewer.
  3. Learn how to write a useful review that will help your editor and the author.
  4. Effectively work with OJS, a popular open source, online journal management and peer review system.
  5. Become a better reviewer over time.