What to do if asked to peer review

The peer review process relies on researchers worldwide dedicating time to review each other’s work and helping to uphold scientific standards around the world. When are you are a researcher, reviewing manuscripts is likely to take up a considerable portion of your time. By reviewing manuscripts in your area of expertise, you have the opportunity to learn about new research and to even shape its progress.

When you are invited to review a manuscript, there are some important points to consider before saying yes:

  • Do I have the expertise to review this work? (or could I suggest someone better placed?)
  • Do I have any conflicting interests that would make me biased in my review of this work?
  • Have I got the time to prepare a helpful and constructive review?

The peer review process is at its most helpful when reviewers provide considered, constructive comment that helps the authors address the weaknesses of their research or strengthen their argument. 

Consult COPE’s guidance on what to consider when asked to review a manuscript for further guidance.