Reviewers play an integral part in ensuring the high standards of the Journal are met. Peer review may often seem like a thankless task, but we all know that without the efforts of Reviewers the quality of a Journal could not be sustained. So, what can be done to help improve Reviewer relations?
Provide all the necessary information
The process starts as soon as a Reviewer or potential Reviewer visits your website. Are clear instructions provided for how to register? For existing Reviewers, are instructions provided on how to update their account and/or reviewing interests? Or who to contact for help? We recommend having a dedicated page for Reviewers on your website (see an example here).
Simplify the process
Once ready to send a request to review, is your process streamlined and easy to follow? We encourage you to consider the following:
- Review request email – Does your review request template provide clear instructions about the request and due dates? Are instructions clear on how to accept or decline the review request? Who can they contact for assistance?
- Technical barriers – Does your Journal require Reviewers to login to the system? One-click access is an OJS feature that automatically inserts a unique submission URL in the request email and provides the Reviewer with direct access to the paper— no need to login.
- Reviewer guidelines – Are your guidelines clear about expectations and the Journal’s peer review process? Does your Journal provide step-by-step guidance on how to complete the review in the system?
- Review format – Open text or structured form? A structured form helps guide the Reviewer on areas to consider when evaluating an article.
In addition to providing clear and simple processes for Reviewers, it is also important to show your appreciation. Here some simple ways this can be done:
- Thank Reviewers in the system upon submitting their evaluation.
- Spotlight top Reviewers through social media channels, notifications, and/or newsletters.
- Provide top Reviewers with an invitation to serve on your Journal’s Editorial Board.
- Publish a thank you to Reviewers each year in a regular issue.