Becoming a journal reviewer
Read the information below carefully on becoming a journal reviewer for IOP publishing.
Volunteering to be a journal reviewer
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.
What qualifications do I need to be a journal reviewer?
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 take our free, state-of-the-art course on how to write an excellent review, which can be found here: https://ioptraining.streamlxp.com/register (registration required).
Benefits of reviewing for IOP journals
Click here for Chinese language version of this page.
IOP Publishing (IOP) is committed to recognising and rewarding peer review. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy as a reviewer:
- When you review for an IOP journal you will receive 10% off any IOP article publication charge within 12 months of your review.
- We recognise our best reviewers via IOP Trusted Reviewer certification. You can be fast-tracked towards IOP Trusted Reviewer certification by completing our free training course here.
- We offer free, interactive online peer review workshops for our reviewers. Register your interest here.
- By reviewing for our journals you will be eligible for the IOP Publishing Reviewer Awards.
- For participating journals you can opt in to publish your reviewer reports and view other reviewer comments via Transparent Peer Review.
Benefits through Publons
Through our partnership with Publons, you can access the following benefits.
- Receive notifications when the paper you have reviewed is published (even if in a different journal)
- Automatically sync your peer review activity in Publons with your ORCID activity
- Share or request credit for any co-review activity
- Export your reviewing history as a Publons CV.
Peer review models on IOP journals
Please check the peer review model of a journal via the “About the Journal” section of our journal homepages.
Double-anonymous peer review
How does it work?
Authors and reviewers are anonymous to each other.
What should I do if I want my work to be reviewed using double-anonymous peer review?
- Check the journal you are submitting to supports double-anonymous peer review.
- Authors are responsible for anonymising their manuscript before submitting their paper. Click here for more information on how to do this, including a checklist(also available in Chinese).
- You can still share your research results via preprint servers such as arXiv and other early sharing platforms. This does mean that author identities may be easier to find online if reviewers try to find them. We ask our reviewers to undertake an objective review of an article and when agreeing to a double-anonymous review we trust that they will not go out of their way to undermine author anonymity, however this can never be guaranteed.
- Read our double-anonymous FAQs
Single anonymous peer review
How does it work?
Reviewers are anonymous to authors. Author identities are visible to reviewers.
What should I do if I want my work to be reviewed using single-anonymous peer review?
- Check the journal you are submitting to supports single-anonymous peer review.
- Your manuscript should contain a complete listing of all authors, including affiliations.
Transparent peer review
How does it work?
- The reviewer’s comments, author responses and editorial decision letters are published alongside the final published article, in citable form. The article may have been single or double anonymously peer reviewed before publication. We hope that this greater transparency will improve the quality of the review process, give more recognition to the work of reviewers and help with the teaching of best practice in peer review.
What should I do if I want to opt-in to transparent peer review?
- Check the journal you are submitting to supports transparent peer review (it is available on all of IOP’s fully Open Access journals).
- Both authors and reviewers can opt-out of transparent peer review should they wish to do so. The peer review history will only appear for articles where the author and (all) reviewers opt in. Reviewers who do opt-in can still choose to remain anonymous.
What does transparent peer review look like?
The peer review history is available only for articles displaying a Publons badge (above) at the top of the article (next to the title). Click on the badge to view further information. All peer review content displayed will be covered by a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license.
Some example articles published with transparent peer review content are available here:
- ERL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab5f96; https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab763f
- JNE: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1741-2552/ab5e08; https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1741-2552/ab6cba
- JPMat: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7639/ab749c
Post publication review
While we do not have any functionality on our site for post-publication review, we welcome comments on published work. This could be via social media (many of our journals have their own Twitter accounts, for example), or via an external website such as PubPeer. Some of our journals publish comments on previously published work. Check your journal instructions for more information.
What is the time commitment of being a journal reviewer?
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.
How IOP selects journal reviewers
Research papers submitted for publication in IOP journals are most commonly sent to two independent reviewers. Reviewers are selected from our reviewer database and we try to find the best combination of scientific expertise and reviewing 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 reviewers for their paper if they wish but this is not required, and we are not obliged to use author suggested reviewers. 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 reviwer pool.
How to update your Scholar One account
Which journals these guidelines apply to
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.
- 2D Materials
- Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
- Biomedical Materials
- Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express
- Classical and Quantum Gravity
- Engineering Research Express
- Electronic Structure
- Environmental Research Communications
- Environmental Research Letters
- Environmental Research: Climate
- Environmental Research: Health
- Environmental Research: Ecology
- Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
- European Journal of Physics
- Flexible & Printed Electronics
- Inverse Problems
- IOP SciNotes
- Journal of Breath Research
- Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
- Journal of Neural Engineering
- Journal of Optics
- Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
- Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
- Journal of Physics Communications
- Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
- Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
- Journal of Physics: Complexity
- Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
- Journal of Physics: Energy
- Journal of Physics: Materials
- Journal of Physics: Photonics
- Journal of Radiological Protection
- Machine Learning: Science and Technology
- Materials for Quantum Technology
- Materials Research Express
- Measurement Science and Technology
- Methods and Applications in Fluorescence
- Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering
- Multifunctional Materials
- Nano Express
- Neuromorphic Computing and Engineering
- New Journal of Physics
- Nuclear Fusion
- Physica Scripta
- Physical Biology
- Physics Education
- Physics in Medicine and Biology
- Physiological Measurement
- Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
- Plasma Research Express
- Plasma Sources Science and Technology
- Progress in Biomedical Engineering
- Progress in Energy
- Quantum Science & Technology
- Reports on Progress in Physics
- Semiconductor Science and Technology
- Smart Materials and Structures
- Superconductor Science and Technology
- Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties
Setting up your account on ScholarOne
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
Updating your availability on ScholarOne
If you are planning on being unavailable for a period of time, please enter the dates into the ‘Unavailable Dates’ section OF the ‘User ID / Password & Other Information’ area of your ScholarOne account. This will help ensure we do not send you requests to review an article while you are unavailable.