Peer Review Checklist

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Working on a peer review? Keep this checklist handy as you go through each step.

Want a printable version of this checklist?

When you’re invited to review a manuscript

Confirm the manuscript is in your area of expertise
Make sure you have enough time
Check for competing interests 

When you’re reading the manuscript

Identify the research question and key claims
Think about context and related literature
Look at the figures and tables. Are they clear? Do they represent what the study is about?
Examine the results. Are they supported by the data?
Read the conclusions. Do they make sense?
Check the methods. Are they appropriate and reproducible?
Review the journal guidelines and publication criteria
Keep everything confidential!

 

When you’re writing the report

Start with a summary of the research
State your overall impression
Number your comments and separate them into “major” and “minor” issues
Give concrete examples
Refer to specific sections and page numbers
Don’t focus on spelling and grammar
Be professional and respectful
Indicate if you’re available to look at the revised version
Include positive feedback too!
Finish on time