Child pages
  • Reviewing Submissions
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata
  1. Assign an Editor
  2. Send to Review
  3. Review Dashboard
  4. Add Reviewer
  5. Reviewer Recommendations
  6. Revisions
  7. Final Steps

This is a walk-through of the review process for a journal manager or reviewer. For the author's perspective on the review process, check here. 

1. Assign an Editor

In order to begin the review process, a submission must be assigned at least one editor. Under the "Workflow" tab, the submission dashboard of each article includes a "Participants" box on the right side of the Submission Dashboard, which initially only includes the author(s) that is registered with your journal. To add an editor, select the blue "Assign" button in the upper right corner of this "Participants" box. 

You will be asked to locate a user by role or name. If you cannot remember specific usernames, by selecting a relevant role from the drop-down menu (in this case, "Journal Editor" or "Section Editor") you can list all users that have that role. Once you have selected your editor, you can then limit their assignment privileges by checking the small box under the “Assignment Privileges” heading. This will still allow the user to make edits and proofread, but they will be unable to move this submission along in the review process without confirmation from the journal manager or an editor with higher permissions. Finally, you can select a message to email to this new editor alerting them of a potential editorial assignment. 

2. Send to Review

Once an editor is selected, a new menu will appear in the right corner of the submission dashboard above the “Participants” box. There are three options available:

Send to Review: Moves the submission on to the next stage.

Accept and Skip Review: Skips the review stage and moves the submission directly to copyediting.

Decline Submission: Rejects the submission before the review process, archiving the submission and sending a rejection notice to the submitting author. 

Select the blue "Send to Review" button to access the Review dashboard.

Make sure to select the files for review by checking the small box to the left of the file name - any files not selected here can be accessed in later stages, but will not be available for your reviewers nor be accessible from the Review page.

3. Review Dashboard

You will now be moved to the review stage of the publication process (found next to “Submission” under the “Review” tab under "Workflow"), which looks similar to the initial submission dashboard. In order to start the review process, you will need to assign reviewers: go to the "Reviewers" box below "Review Files" and select the blue "Add Reviewer" in the upper right corner. 

4. Add Reviewer

Though restricted to searching for reviewers by name, you can search by several other factors if necessary. You can select a range for how many reviews this reviewer has completed, how many days since their last review of your journal, the average amount of days it takes them to complete a review, and how many reviews they are currently working on. If you had users with the Reviewer role submit their potential interests by subject, you can search for those as well. No matter how you search for a reviewer, you will be able to see all of their information and averages, as well as their listed interests.

At the bottom of this window, you will notice three options:

Select Reviewer: This will confirm the user you have just searched for is a reviewer.

Create New Reviewer: This will create a new user for the system, who will automatically have the Reviewer role. You will need to create a username and require a valid email to complete this step. 

Enroll Existing User: This will allow you to search existing users and give them the Reviewer role along with their current assigned roles. 

Once you confirm your selected reviewer or create a new reviewer account, you will be directed to a new window. You will see your chosen reviewer at the top of the window and be given the option to change to a new user if necessary. You will also see the default content of the email for requesting a review. While you can edit this, most of the email's content should be responsive to your previous choices and default review settings. 

You can choose not to send an email to the reviewer by checking the box directly below the text of the email. The deadlines listed under "Important Dates" should coincide with default deadlines you set in the Review Guidelines, but you can change them for special circumstances here. Reviewers must respond to the review request by the Response Due Date and have at least one review done and submitted into the system by Review Due Date. You will then select the review type: double-blind (authors and reviewers will be unable to see each other's identities), blind (the author will not know their reviewer) or open (all parties know each other's identities/usernames). Make sure to keep your journal review policy consistent. 

After you have sent a review request, your reviewer box will display the reviewer's name with the phrase “request sent” along with the response due date. By clicking the small blue arrow to the left of the reviewer's name, you can examine an overview of the review details, email the reviewer updates, edit the reviewer's information, unassign the reviewer from the submission, and check the editorial notes/history of the review.

Unassign Reviewer will remove the reviewer from this article, with the option to reassign them later, and provide the following optional email prompt:

After the review is completed, you will have the ability to Thank Reviewer (send an email thanking the user for their review) or Revert Decision (mark the review as "unconsidered", preserving the review history but not confirming this reviewer's decision). 

Cancel Reviewer has the same effect as Unassign Reviewer, meaning the reviewer and review will be removed from this item, and can be reassigned if desired. Once reassigned, however, the original review recommendation will remain intact- if you want to have the reviewer give a new recommendation, you will need to start a new round of peer review, which os covered below.

Once a reviewer completes their review, they will be permanently blocked from the submission dashboard and the rest of the editorial workflow. OJS 3 implements this to ensure the integrity of blind peer review. However, in cases where you may wish to implement a more informal review that consists of editors also acting as reviewers, you will need to utilize the Submission Dashboard's Discussion feature.

5. Reviewer Recommendations

You will now wait for your reviewer to submit their review decision.

Once completed, their recommendation will appear in the "Reviewers" box, under the "Complete" and Recommendation text to the right of the author's name. There are several possible reviewer recommendations:

Accept Submission: The article can be moved to copyediting, either with no editing or very minor work done solely by the editor.

Request Revisions: The author will need to be contacted to make some changes, but no further peer review is required.

Resubmit for Review: This will require the author to make major changes and another round of review will need to take place.

Resubmit Elsewhere: This article has some quality, but does not meet the scope of this particular journal. Ideally editors should reject but offer suggestions for other publications with which to publish.

Decline Submission: The reviewer is recommending that this submission is not up to the journal's standards and should be declined for publication. 

See Comments: The reviewer has placed a more specific, nuanced recommendation into the comments of their review, which can be viewed under "Review Details".

6. Revisions

In the case below, the reviewer has recommended some revisions, which can easily be made without further input from the reviewer. In order to alert the author that these revisions need to be made, select the gray "Request Revisions" button on the right side of the page. 

Once you select this button, a window will present you with options for the email you will be sending to the submission's author. You will inform the author whether or not these revisions will be subject to another round of peer review. Since our reviewer selected the Revisions Required option, another round of peer review is not necessary. You can also choose whether or not to send an email notifying this stage of review- if you want a speedy reply, an email notification is recommended. Make sure to select the review files shared by the reviewer for the email. 

This will start a Review Discussion in the "Review Discussions" box at the bottom of the page. When the author responds to the discussion, they will be able to upload their revision here, as well as let you know any additional information. 

You can select "Add discussion" at the top right corner of the "Review Discussions" box to start a new discussion with other editors, reviewers, or authors at any time. You can choose multiple participants; if your journal does blind peer review, you CAN include both a reviewer and an author in the same discussion (although they will not be able to see the other users in the discussion). Be careful not to use names in this case to ensure peer review remains double blind!

You can send messages to alert them of changes or issues, as well as attach files that include article reviews, revisions requests, and more. All of this will be saved within the system as well as sent via email.

Once you have a final, revised version of the article that has been confirmed by all editors and the author, upload the file to the "Revisions" box. 

You can upload multiple files to his box if necessary- you will have the option to select which files from this box you will want to move to copyediting.

7. Final Steps

Once the author has responded to revisions, it is time to move the submission to the copyediting stage. Make sure the final reviewed and revised file is uploaded into the "Revisions" box and then select the blue  "Accept Submission" button on the right side of the page. 

You will have an option to notify the author that the article has left the review stage. You will also be given a chance to attach any number of files from the "Revisions" box to send to the next stage of publication. Make sure the final revision file is selected, and then move the submission to the next stage.

Questions? Contact us at

  • No labels