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September 12, 2023

The Responsibilities of a Peer Reviewer

In addition to helping authors improve their research and writing, reviews can also teach scientists how to identify issues with the work of their peers. They can learn what makes an article great (or not so good), including things like structure, logical flow and clarity of explanations.

As a reviewer, you’ll be asked to provide an objective evaluation of manuscripts in a timely manner, based on the journal’s policy for review. You’ll also be responsible for communicating with the editor and editorial office if unforeseen circumstances arise that will affect your ability to review in the time frame requested.

You should only agree to review a manuscript if you have sufficient expertise in the subject area. If you find that you cannot adequately complete the review within the specified deadline, it is your responsibility to decline. You must also inform the editor if you have well-founded suspicions or knowledge that there are ethical concerns related to the work or its authors or funders and bring these to the attention of the editor immediately.

You should not take any scientific, financial or personal advantage of the information provided through the privileged communication of peer review. You should not share the manuscript with anyone outside of the review process without prior approval from the editor. You must also report any instances of apparent plagiarism or duplicate/redundant publication to the editor. Reviewers should also note whether or not the manuscript cites relevant published works.