New volunteers are encouraged to complete the free ACS Reviewer Lab training program.
Invited reviewers are asked to decline invitations if they have any perceived conflict of interest with the author, the organization(s) with which the author is affiliated and/or the topic of the manuscript.
Reviewers who accept invitations to review manuscripts are asked to keep the following guidelines in mind as they assess the scientific value and appropriateness of manuscripts for publication.
- Is the manuscript within the defined scope of the journal?
- Is the subject of the paper of sufficient interest to the journal's readership?
- Does the paper report a specific, identifiable, advance in knowledge?
- Has the work reported in this paper been published before? (Suggestion: search MEDLINE and/or Google Scholar by author and keywords.)
- Are the title and abstract truly descriptive of the content?
- Are the procedures and methods complete and sufficiently clear that the work could be repeated by anyone knowledgeable in the field?
- Are the conclusions justified, sound and logically consistent?
- Are the references to prior work pertinent and complete?
- Is the paper as concise as it could be; consistent with clarity?
- Are all figures and tables relevant and properly prepared?
- Reviewers are not required to comment on grammar and punctuation. Instead, reviewers are encouraged to suggest changes that would remove ambiguity or clarify meaning.
- Papers under review are confidential and should not be discussed or shown to others without the express permission of the editor-in-chief.
- The identity of reviewers is kept anonymous. A reviewer should reveal his or her identify to an author only with permission from the editor-in-chief.
- Ensure the appropriate manuscript category is selected by the author. If you do not think the category selected by the author is the best fit for the manuscript, recommend a more appropriate category.
- Ensure the author is following the journal's Instruction for Authors and American Chemical Society (ACS) Style Guidelines, especially for references.
- Assessments should be returned on or before the specified deadline. Reviewers who may not be able to meet a deadline are urged to say so as soon as possible.
- Please keep in mind that reviewer manuscript evaluations and comments will be relayed to authors as guides for revision. Be honest, but courteous. Offer constructive criticism to the authors so they can benefit from your expertise. Critique the manuscript, not the author.
- Any comments for the editor's eyes only should be shared in a separate note.
10 Tips for Manuscript Reviewers