The PLOS Peer Review Toolbox is your source for peer review best practice and practical tips to build your scientific skillset. Delivered to your inbox every two weeks, each issue is a new addition to your personal store of peer review know-how. Sign up today.

Peer Review Essentials Series

Issue #1: A Brief History of Peer Review

Discover the genesis of peer review and scroll to the bottom to share your thoughts about its future.

Issue #2: Peer Review in All it’s Shapes and Sizes

A look at the types of peer review you might be asked to participate in.

Issue #3: Ask the Editors

PLOS editors offer their advice for becoming a great peer reviewer.

Issue #4: Read like a Peer Reviewer

Things to watch out for, and the three key questions to ask as you read.

Issue #5: Write like a Peer Reviewer

A quick guide to writing the reviews you’d like to receive.

Issue #6: Your ideas and further reading

Check out what your peers think and read the latest research into peer review.

Foundations of Peer Review Series

Issue #7: Getting invited to review, part 1

Easy things you can do right now to help editors find you.

Issue #8: Getting invited to review, part 2

Strategies that require a bit more time and attention, but can benefit your career for years to come.


Issue #9: Peer reviewing open datasets

Lean what does an effective data review look like, and what to watch out for as you assess a dataset.

Issue #10: Responding to Invitations

When should you accept or decline an invitation to peer review?

Issue #11: Evaluating Competing Interests

How close does a relationship have to be before it qualifies as a competing interest?

Issue #12: Rewrite the Feedback

Giving feedback can be hard—strategies for balancing clear and actionable criticism with a constructive tone.

Summer Series

May: Introducing Peer Review History

PLOS announces a modular, opt-in approach to transparent peer review.


June: New Options for Reviewer Credit

New ways for reviewers to claim credit with ORCID.


July: Open Science, Part I

What is the difference between Open Access and Open Science—and why does it matter?

August: Open Science, Part II

How can you get involved in Open Science as an author?

September: Open Science, Part III

Getting active in Open Science as a reader, reviewer, student, or junior researcher.

Your Peer Review Questions Series


Issue #13: Second Round Peer Review

How is rereview different from first-round review?

Issue #14: Joining a Peer Review Process that’s Already Underway

Most of the time, different reviewers start their assessment at about the same time. But there are exceptions.


Issue #15: Showcasing Your Peer Review Skills with Preprint Comments

If you comment on a preprint, will anyone actually read your feedback? How do authors feel about preprint comments?


Issue #16: How to Volunteer as a Reviewer

Is it okay to contact editors without an invitation?


Issue #17: How NOT to be the Dreaded 3rd Reviewer

Giving meaningful and constructive peer review feedback