Thank you for your interest in reviewing an unpublished manuscript with Research Square. We coordinate peer reviews for fully open access journals that are distributed by leading publishers, such as SpringerNature. All of the journals we service are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Your review may help other researchers to publish their work in one of these journals.
Our review process is designed to recognize reviewers for their contributions to the literature and to improve the speed of peer review. We pay a small honorarium for each review completed, and we aim to return reviewer comments to the authors of each manuscript within days. Most of our reviewers (>70%) provide positive feedback after participating in our review process; we’ve displayed several of their comments below.
We welcome your questions about our process! This page addresses the questions that we receive most often. If your question is not covered here, please contact us at [email protected] or reach out to the Peer Review Coordinator who invited you to review a manuscript.
Thank you very much for serving the scholarly community as a reviewer!
You have likely already received an e-mail with an invitation to review a particular manuscript. If you are able to read the manuscript and provide your opinion of the quality of the research within 4-5 days, please respond and tell us that you will perform the review. You will then receive a second email with a .pdf version of the manuscript and a link to the online review form. The journal name and the names of the authors will have been removed from the .pdf copy of the manuscript. Your review should include both your assessment of the manuscript in its present state and suggestions that the authors can use to improve their manuscript. You will receive an e-mail acknowledging your review shortly after you complete the form. You will also receive a small honorarium ($50) within two to six weeks if you provide us with your payment information via the form.
Our review process addresses three important problems in scholarly publishing. We note these problems and how our process helps solve them below.
Research Square is a US-based company with the mission of making research communication faster, fairer, and more useful. While Research Square is not a journal publisher or a research organization, most of our employees have research backgrounds and advanced degrees from academic institutions in the US. Thus, we know the challenges of publishing and communicating research. We constantly search for ways to improve the publishing process so that researchers can focus on their research. We carry out our mission by partnering with leading scholarly publishers and building services and tools that solve crucial issues in the publishing industry. As an independent organization, we meet the needs of authors, reviewers, and editors by developing innovative solutions to current problems in scholarly publishing while retaining aspects of the existing system that serve the research community well. To learn more about the company, please visit (company/about); to learn more about the services we offer to publishers, please visit (company/publishers).
We strive to return reviews to authors quickly; however, the deadline for your review can be extended in most cases. Please e-mail the peer review coordinator who sent you the review invitation to ask for more time. We may ask another researcher to complete the review if your preferred deadline is too far in the future.
Yes, we are glad to receive suggestions for qualified reviewers. Please respond to the email containing your review invitation and provide the name and email address of the person you have in mind. We will contact him/her if he/she meets our reviewer criteria. Specifically, our reviewers must have doctoral-level degrees (for example, a Ph. D., MD or J.D.; exceptions can be made for tenured faculty without doctoral-level degrees) and must work in academic institutions, government labs, non-profit research institutes, or clinical settings. Moreover, our publisher partners have asked us to invite only reviewers with publication histories that support their suitability to review particular manuscripts.
Yes, we avoid e-mailing researchers who do not wish to participate in our process. Please respond to the e-mail invitation that you received to tell us that you do not wish to be contacted in the future.
In your review, please both provide your assessment of whether the manuscript is ready to be published and describe how the manuscript could be improved. Keep in mind that your review comments will be read by at least two different people, the journal editor and the author of the manuscript. The journal editor will be interested primarily in your assessment of whether the manuscript is ready to be published. On the other hand, the author will benefit most if you provide thoughtful comments on how the manuscript should be improved.
Consider beginning your review with a short summary of the manuscript, followed by your overall assessment of the manuscript’s readiness for publication. The summary will be especially important if you state that the manuscript should be published in its present form or that the manuscript should not be published because of fundamental flaws in the scholarly work. In such cases, the editor or author may wonder if you have read and understood the work if the summary is missing.
Next, consider commenting on whether the methods are described in sufficient detail, whether the authors have given sufficient credit to other researchers through citations, whether the presentation of the work (including the language, organization, figures and tables) makes the manuscript easy to understand, and whether the authors’ conclusions are justified on the basis of the data given in the manuscript.
Finally, please consider mentioning any small details that you feel should be changed before the manuscript is published. These detailed requests are often keyed to individual pages in the text; some manuscripts even have line numbers that can be especially useful in pointing out specific areas where improvements are needed.
Unfortunately, the form must be completed in one session at this time. Our developers are working on a solution to this issue. In the meantime, consider typing your comments into a word processor as you read the manuscript and then copying and pasting your comments into the review form.
Please do not send us a marked-up copy of the manuscript. We are unable to use comments provided in this way because the journal editors that we work with do not return marked-up manuscripts to authors. Instead, please enter your comments into the online review form.
If you note an issue that occurs in many places in the manuscript, please note the first or most serious example and indicate that it should be corrected throughout the manuscript in your review. For example, “The plural forms of nouns (which end in -s) are used instead of the possessive forms (which typically end in -‘s) in a number of places. This problem occurs first on page 3 and is most notable on page 7. Please correct this problem throughout the manuscript.
Here are some potential solutions if you encounter technical difficulties when trying to access or complete the form.
You can expect to receive your honorarium within about two to six weeks after you submit your review. We issue honoraria on the 15th day of the month after the month in which the review was completed. For example, if you complete a review on September 9, you should receive your honorarium on or shortly after October 15.
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way for us to send you your honorarium; however, we can send your honorarium using other payment methods. We also use Payoneer and under special circumstances, wire transfers. Note that selecting one of these alternative payment methods may delay the arrival of your honorarium or cause bank fees to be deducted from the amount you would otherwise receive. The review form includes a space for you to indicate your preferred payment method. If you select Payoneer, please provide the routing and account numbers for your Payoneer account; if you require a wire transfer, please contact us at [email protected].
Yes, you can donate your honorarium by selecting the “Donate” option when completing the review form. If you select this option, your honorarium will be sent to AuthorAid (https://www.authoraid.info/en/), “a free pioneering global network that provides support for researchers in low and middle income countries.
Unfortunately, we are not able to adjust the honorarium amount. We recognize that a consulting scientist would receive much more than $50 for several hours of work; however, scholars typically perform review reviews on a volunteer basis. We offer the honorarium to thank reviewers for participating in this new system and for returning their comments to us quickly.
The manuscript you have been asked to review is being considered for publication in one of several open access journals published by SpringerNature. These journals are not concerned with the perceived novelty or interest of the manuscripts they publish. To reduce the possibility of bias in the review process, we do not disclose journal information until each review has been completed. We will be happy to tell you the journal name after the peer review process is complete. For a listing of fully open access journals published by SpringerNature, please visit springernature - journals.
We believe that peer reviewing is a specialized professional activity that deserves recognition and payment, especially when requested by for-profit publishers. We offer an honorarium to thank reviewers for participating in this new system and for returning their comments to us quickly.
The publishers of selected open access journals pay us a fee each time we find a qualified reviewer to review a manuscript. These fees support our operations and the payment of honoraria to our reviewers. The publishers benefit from this arrangement because they receive revenue each time a manuscript is published in their journals, but each manuscript must be reviewed before it can be published. Our efforts enable publishers to derive revenue from publishing papers for which they have had difficulty finding reviewers.
Authors do not pay extra money when we coordinate peer reviews for their manuscripts. Our fees are deducted from the revenue that the publisher would normally realize from publishing a manuscript. While authors are not involved in this transaction, they benefit in that they receive reviewer comments and potentially advance in their publishing careers more rapidly than they would have if we were not involved.
Thank you very much for your interest in our process! If you have been invited to review for us, you are already in your database. If you have not been invited to perform a review for us, please be aware that we typically add new reviewers to our database on an as-needed basis. If you would like to participate, please ensure that your e-mail address, degree, workplace, and publication history are easy to find on the Internet, perhaps by creating a profile on ResearchGate or your institution’s Web site. We may reach out to you if we receive a manuscript from one of our publisher partners that is in line with your expertise.
Thank you very much for your interest in our services. At present, we carry out peer review coordination only through our arrangements with our publisher partners.
The reviews that we collect are published online under a Creative Commons Attribution License. You will be asked to consent to the publication of your comments as part of filling out the review form.
Disclosure of your name in connection with your review comments is optional. If you would like for your name to be published with your review, please indicate this preference on the review form.
This is a novel approach to the peer-review process because reviewers are compensated for their time. I get countless requests daily and having my time valued is very important.
Peer Reviewer, Canada