Thank you for your interest in reviewing an unpublished manuscript with Research Square. We coordinate peer reviews for journals that are distributed by leading publishers, such as Springer Nature. 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 to make communication faster, fairer, and more useful.
Traditional peer review is a slow process. We typically return reviews in 11 days.
We invite reviewers based on their expertise without regard to their country of residence or origin and currently work with individuals from over 100 unique countries
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 utilize a universal form for all journals that guides the reviewer in assessing the science rather than rightness of fit in a journal
We welcome your questions about our process! This page addresses the questions that we receive most often.
If you would like to become an evaluator, 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 email with an invitation to review a manuscript being handled by Research Square. If you are able to read the manuscript and provide feedback on the quality of the research within 4-5 days, please respond and tell us that you will perform the review. Shortly after, you will receive a second email containing the manuscript and a link to our online review form. Please note that the manuscript file may have the journal name and author names removed.
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. Once you complete the review form, you will receive an acknowledgment email shortly thereafter. You will also receive a small honorarium ($50) within two to six weeks if you opt for payment using the secured section of the form.
Our review process addresses three important problems in scholarly publishing.
Research Square, a part of Springer Nature, 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 continually 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 (about Research Square); to learn more about the services we offer to publishers, please visit (publishers).
We strive to return reviews to authors quickly; however, we can accommodate reasonable deadline extensions in most cases. Please email the Peer Review Coordinator who invited you to review 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 welcome suggestions for qualified reviewers. Please respond to the invitation email 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 PhD., MD or JD) 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 emailing researchers who do not wish to participate in our process. Please respond to the email invitation that you received to tell us that you do not wish to be contacted in the future. We will retain your publicly available email address to ensure we do not contact you in the future and will erase any private information at your request. All data used to match new reviewers to papers are obtained via publicly available records.
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 due to fundamental flaws in the scholarly work. In cases where the summary is missing, the editor or author may wonder if you have read and understood the work.
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.
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 document as you read the manuscript and then copying and pasting your comments into the review form. Please contact the peer review coordinator who invited you to review if you need a template.
Please do not send us additional files with your review. We are unable to use comments provided in this way because not all of the journal editors that we work with pass on additional files to authors. Instead, please enter all of 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.
The only edits we may make to your review prior to sending it to the editors are for small typos. If your reviewer narrative needs any further clarification, we will involve you in the process to ensure that we do not alter the content or intent of your review.
You can expect to receive your honorarium within approximately two to six weeks after you submit your review. We issue honoraria around the middle of the month after the month in which the review was completed. For example, if you complete a review on September 9, you can expect to receive your honorarium around mid-October.
PayPal is the most efficient way for us to send you your honorarium; however, we can send your honorarium using other payment methods. Note that use of an alternate payment method may delay the arrival of your honorarium or cause transaction fees to be deducted from the amount you would otherwise receive. If you would like to arrange an alternate payment method, please contact us at [email protected].
Yes. If you do not wish to be paid for your review for any reason, select the “volunteer” option when completing the review form.
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 reviews on a volunteer basis. We offer the honorarium to thank reviewers for participating in this progressive system and for returning their comments to us quickly.
The manuscript you have been asked to review is being considered for publication in a journal published by a number of notable publishers. Our partner 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, although that information may be present in the copy of the manuscript you were sent. We will be happy to tell you the journal name after the peer review process is complete.
We believe that peer reviewing is a specialized professional activity that deserves recognition and compensation, especially when requested by for-profit publishers. We offer an honorarium to thank reviewers for participating in this progressive system and for returning their comments to us quickly.
The publishers of participatory journals pay us a fee each time we find a qualified reviewer to assess 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 quality reviewer assessments and the opportunity to advance their publishing careers more rapidly than they would have without our involvement.
Thank you very much for your interest in our process! If you have been invited to review for us, you are already in our database. All data used to match new reviewers to papers are obtained via publicly available records. If you have not been invited to perform a review for us and are interested in being contacted if a manuscript matches your expertise, please reach out to us at [email protected] . If you would like to participate, please ensure that your email address, degree, workplace, and publication history are easy to find on the Internet, perhaps by creating a profile on a reputable, institutional or scholarly website. 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 you complete 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, there is a question to 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."