AJR Reviewer — Frequently Asked Questions

Where on the AJR website are the templates and other reviewer resources located?

The Reviewer Resources can be found on the Reviewer's Resources page.

Will individuals have access to the evaluations of their reviews so they will know what they are doing right and what they need to improve upon?

At the end of each year as a reviewer you will receive a letter asking if you’d like to continue to review and data regarding the number of reviews and average reviewer rating can be found at the bottom of the letter. Reviewers are welcome to contact Dr. Berquist at any time regarding their performance and reviewer ratings. In addition, new reviewers should receive 4 reviews within a twelve months cycle and will be mentored regarding their reviews.

If the reviewer knows the decision is going to be “Reject”, does he/she still need to go through each section (abstract, material and methods, etc.) and provide detailed comments on the section?

Yes. Several broad statements would be okay, but the more information you can provide, the better the review is for the authors. It is not uncommon for authors to appeal the decision if appropriate comments are not provided. In that setting it is difficult to refuse an appeal as not solid criteria for rejection are available. In addition, comments to the editor are important regardless of the decision rendered.

If you find you have reviewed the manuscript previously for another journal and it was rejected, should you decline to re-review it for AJR?

Yes, in that setting it is important to decline the review and provide us with the reason when you decline.

What is the process for selecting reviewers?

Your personal classification defines the areas of expertise that you are willing to review. This is provided in Editorial Manager and allows the editor or section editor to select reviewers most appropriate for a given manuscript. In addition, Editorial Manager provides very important information such as how many reviews you have done, if you are currently reviewing a manuscript or having a pending invitation, when the most recent review was submitted/declined, if you are “unavailable”, etc.) Typically, two reviewers are invited and four to eight individuals are placed on an alternate list. When two reviews are completed, and the reviews are discrepant, a third reviewer (tiebreaker) might be invited.

Is a statistician available if reviewers are not comfortable reviewing the statistics in a manuscript?

Yes, we have a statistician available to assist with any statistical needs our reviewers or editors may require.

How do I sign up to become an AJR reviewer?

Must be a current member of ARRS; must send CV and cover letter (to ajrsubmit@arrs.org) re qualifications and subspecialty interests; if approved by AJR’s Editor in Chief to serve as reviewer, must attend training WebEx and must agree to participate in mentoring plan during first year of service. Individual reviewer performance is evaluated annually and inactive reviewers or reviewers who consistently receive low scores on quality of reviews are removed from reviewer database.

What should I do if, after a review is started, I realize I may know the authors?

Notify the staff immediately and recuse yourself. A new reviewer will be invited.

How much time should a new reviewer expect to spend on preparing a review?

Begin by reviewing the guidelines for pages, references, figures, tables, etc. for the article category (i.e., original research, review article, opinion, technical innovation). Initially it is helpful to follow the templates available for each article type. Read through the manuscript completely to gain insight to the goals and objectives. Then begin to review each section with evaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Do not worry about typos or grammar issues. Make helpful, constructive comments about each section and provide an overall summary of strengths and weaknesses. Use line- and page-numbers for section comments. This should take one to hours, depending on the length of the paper.