As a reviewer, you will be notified by e-mail of an invitation to review a journal article. The e-mail will come embedded with hyperlink invitation responses.
Clicking the appropriate hyperlink sends the response to the journal's editorial office. The Editor is notified and – if you accepted – the manuscript is forwarded to your Reviewer Centre on ScholarOne Manuscripts. You will also receive an Invitation Response e-mail containing any specific instructions you may need in order to proceed.
Quick tip: Emerald journals have a link in the “Invitation Agreed” e-mail that allows you to access the manuscript and scorecard directly, without having to first log into ScholarOne.
To access your Reviewer Centre simply enter the journal’s ScholarOne site (linked to from the journal’s author guidelines web page). Your login information will be the same for your reviewer account as it is for your author account. To keep your account information current, use the Edit Account link in the upper right corner. You can also change your User ID and password here.
Once you are logged in you can access your Reviewer Centre from the Welcome screen (which doubles up as the Main Menu).
There are a number of points it is important for you to consider for every article you review:
If you have reason to believe that an article is a substantial copy of another work please let the Editor know, citing the previous work in as much detail as possible.
If inaccurate, unsubstantiated or emotive statements are made about organizations or people in a submitted article, please let the Editor know. If it is considered that the article could be potentially libellous, clarification will be sought from the author.
Although it can be very difficult to detect if you suspect the results in an article to be falsified please raise the matter with the Editor.
Please consult the Emerald Publication Ethics guidelines for more information.
Do not disclose to others
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shared or discussed with others unless otherwise authorized by the Editor. Unpublished information or material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal gain.
Consultation with a single colleague may sometimes be appropriate but you should always discuss this with the Editor beforehand. Most Editors welcome additional comments but whoever else is involved is also obliged to keep the review process confidential. If the review is referred to a student, he or she should communicate directly with the Editor.
Double-blind peer review
A large majority of Emerald journals operate according to the double-blind peer review model (see Peer Review Models for more information) and so the respective identities of author and reviewer remain hidden. To help preserve the integrity of this process please do not reveal your name within the text of your review.
Does the article say something new and interesting enough to warrant publication? Does it add to the body of knowledge? Is the research question an important one? In order to determine its originality and appropriateness for the journal, it might be helpful to consider the article in the context of the wider published research, using tools such as Web of Science or Scopus. How does it compare to the most highly cited or downloaded papers in the field? If the research has been covered previously, forward any relevant references to the Editor.
Layout and format
Authors must comply fully with the journal’s author guidelines, which include manuscript presentation. If the author has clearly failed to present the article according to these guidelines and the Editor has not already highlighted this in the invitation to review, you should either flag this to the Editor or note this in your review. If the paper is particularly original or interesting the Editor may choose to overlook the formatting issues throughout the peer review process and ask the author to address these only shortly prior to eventual acceptance; but at other times the Editor may ask the author to restructure the paper before progressing it any further.
Does it clearly describe the article? Does it include the most important keywords (consider how you search for research articles) and demonstrate the significance of the research? Does it make sense?!
Have all mandatory fields been completed? Does it accurately reflect the content of the article?
Does this describe what the author hoped to achieve and clearly articulate the research question? Has the author provided a summary of the current research literature to provide context? Is it clear how this is being challenged or built upon? Are there any important works that have been omitted?
Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Does the article outline the procedures followed? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded; has the author been precise in describing measurements?
These are common and so close attention should be paid.
This is where the author should explain clearly what was discovered in the research. Are results presented clearly? You should consider the merits and appropriateness of the author’s analysis.
Are the claims in this section reasonable and supported by the results? Are the findings consistent with the author’s expectations? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the author explain how the research has added to the body of knowledge?
Graphics and tables
Where these are included, please check the content and if possible make suggestions for improvements. Do the figures and tables inform the reader? Are they an important part of the story? Do the figures describe the data accurately? Are they presented consistently (e.g. in the same format throughout)?
Does the quality of English make it difficult to understand the author’s argument? If this is the case, you do not need to correct the English but should instead mention this as part of your review. In extreme cases where an interesting or original contribution is undermined by poor quality of expression you may bring this to the attention of the Editor who can then advise of sub-editing services.
Click the Scorecard tab to review and score the manuscript. The format can vary by journal and may include journal-specific questions, a recommendation field, comments to the author and comments to the Editor.
Below is an example of the types of questions you might find on your Reviewer Scorecard:
You also have the ability to attach files to your review. If you attach any files, please ensure that they are anonymous maintaining the blind review process.
Please ensure you complete all required sections of your review report. These fields will be marked with a red “req” symbol. Try to avoid straight yes or no answers when completing the scorecard. In some cases the journal may also require you to complete a further questionnaire and this will be sent to you when you accept the invitation to review a manuscript.
After you have completed the written fields on the Scorecard, you are required to make a recommendation to the Editor as to the next step for the journal. The Recommendation criteria may vary from journal to journal. The Editor will take your overall recommendation into account.
What’s the difference between "minor" and "major" revisions?
This varies from journal to journal. However, minor revisions may more often require the author to make relatively small adjustments to the paper, the type of which that would not take too much more time. These may be to bring the paper more in line with author guidelines with a slightly reduced word count, formatting changes or the labelling of tables or figures; further evidence of an understanding of the extant research literature; or to elaborate a little more on the research findings.
Major revisions might require the author to make more significant improvements, the type of which that may take weeks or even months rather than days. Authors may be asked to address flaws in the methodology; collect more data; conduct a more thorough analysis; or even adjust the research question to ensure the paper contributes something truly original to the body of work.
The exact motivations behind an Editor's decision are always unique. Importantly, constructive feedback should be provided by the reviewers so that authors are clear on how to improve their papers.
Any questions relating to the content of the paper should be addressed to the journal Editor or editorial office.
For technical issues relating to ScholarOne Manuscripts please visit the support centre, available through the "Get Help Now" link on the top right hand side of all pages and through the Resources section of the login and welcome pages.
If you are unable to find an answer to your query here, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.