1 Becoming a journal reviewer

Thank you for your interest in reviewing for IOP Publishing journals. Once registered you will be considered as a reviewer for manuscripts that are within your research area.



Disclaimer:
All reviewers are carefully chosen by our editorial team who balance experience levels, research interests, publication history and volunteer status amongst other factors. Volunteers are flagged within our system but we cannot guarantee that you will be selected as a reviewer for one of our journals. Read our reviewer guidelines here.

There are no specific qualifications needed to be a reviewer, but most reviewers will have a PhD. You certainly need to be able to prove you know the field of study well enough to be able to assess the novelty, quality, impact and importance of the research.

If you have never been a reviewer before, we strongly recommend you look at a free course on becoming a peer reviewer, offered by our partner Publons.

IOP Publishing (IOP) is committed to recognizing and rewarding peer review. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy as a reviewer:

Please note we do not currently offer financial payment to our reviewers.

IOP journals operate the single-blind review process, in which referees know the identity of the authors but authors do not know the identity of the referees. While all our journals operate the single-blind review process, our flagship open access journal New Journal of Physics and our ‘Express’ journals (Materials Research Express, Plasma Research Express, Engineering Research Express, and Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express) also offer a double-blind peer review option. Authors who choose the double-blind option on submission to these journals remain anonymous to the referees throughout the review process. Authors are responsible for anonymizing their manuscript before submitting their paper. A checklist is available to help authors with this process.

From October 2019, three of our journals (JPhys Materials, Journal of Neural Engineering and Environmental Research Letters) are participating in a one year trial of transparent peer review. This trial enables the open publication, alongside a published article, of that article’s entire peer review content (reviewer reports, author responses and decision letters) in an easily discoverable and citable form. We hope that this greater transparency will improve the quality of the review process, as well as enhancing readers’ understanding of articles and giving more recognition to the work of peer reviewers. During this trial period, both authors and reviewers will have the option of opting out of transparent peer review should they wish to (and reviewers who do opt in may choose to remain anonymous): the peer review history will only appear for articles where the author and (all) reviewers opt in. IOP Publishing retains the right to make minor edits to reports to improve readability and ensure they are suitable for publication, and in exceptional circumstances to withdraw reports.

As a reviewer for IOP journals, you will be expected to complete your review within 7–28 days, depending on the journal and type of article you are reviewing. When this is not possible, we will consider requests for extensions where appropriate. You will be expected to comment on multiple aspects of the paper, most commonly scientific rigour, novelty, quality, impact and importance. More information on how to complete a review is given in the next section.

We understand you are busy and we try not to send anyone too many tasks. You can always decline any request you are sent. If you are a Board Member or on an Advisory Panel for one of our journals you may receive requests more frequently.

Research papers submitted for publication in IOP journals are most commonly sent to two independent referees. Referees are selected from our reviewer database and we try to find the best combination of scientific expertise and referee experience for each paper. It’s really important for reviewers to keep their research interests up to date on ScholarOne, so we only send them papers that are in the right subject areas.

Authors are welcome to suggest referees for their paper if they wish but this is not required. In the interests of impartiality, if an author-suggested reviewer is used then we will complement this with a review from a second referee chosen by the journal from the general referee pool.

How to update your Scholar One account

Our guidelines are applicable to the journals listed below. For guidelines specific to other partner journals, including the American Astronomical Society titles, please consult those journals’ respective homepages. Journal homepages can be accessed from here.

We manage all our submissions and peer review through a web-based system called ScholarOne. It is really easy to set up your account and keep it up to date. Watch this video to find out how.

ScholarOne now supports login and account creation via your ORCID iD. See our help guide for further details.

How to create an account on ScholarOne