New service informs journal reviewers about the status of manuscripts they review

Reviewer Notifications in EVISE® provide real-time information on all stages of the process from revision to final decision

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When you review a manuscript, it can often feel like you’re doing so in a vacuum, with no idea what others are saying about the same research output. You may ask yourself whether your opinions are shared and whether other reviewers are making similar comments.

To solve this problem, we have developed a new feature in our new online submission and peer-review system EVISE®. This functionality – Reviewer Notifications – allows you to receive real-time information on the status of any manuscript you have reviewed, and see what other reviewers say about it too. We understand from feedback that you have shared with us that many of you believe this is the best way to find out if your review report was helpful and thorough enough, and that makes perfect sense.

How Reviewer Notifications evolved

While some Elsevier journals in our old editorial system EES allowed reviewers to receive notification of the final status of a manuscript and blinded information about what other reviewers said, it was not available across the board. But it was clear the feature was very popular; in the Reviewer Feedback Program survey sent out earlier this year, 91 percent of you told us that being able to see other reviewers’ comments was an attractive approach. 

Earlier this year, the Reviewer Feedback Program survey asked reviewers which approaches to reviewing they found attractive. Their answers are displayed in this graph.

When asked what else you would suggest, you requested “more feedback about the decision process” (reviewer for International Journal of Cardiology from Italy) and “more information to reviewers following editor's decision” (reviewer for Research in Developmental Disabilities from the UK) and a reviewer for Operations Research Letters from the UK commented: “I'd like to know the final outcome of the revision”.

The migration to EVISE® has allowed us to develop the functionality to provide all these answers and with nuances; all journal reviewers not only get notified upon final decision, but also about the revisions.

If the journal you’re reviewing for is in EVISE® then the chances are you will receive notifications at the following points in the publication journey:

  • When the manuscript you reviewed is revised
  • When the manuscript you reviewed is accepted
  • When the manuscript you reviewed is rejected
  • When other reviewers made comments (these will be anonymized).

This means you will no longer be reviewing in a vacuum, so you will be able to see whether your comments align with others and read the final article, if and when it is published.

If you have any questions or feedback about the Reviewer Notifications feature, please post a comment below.

Acknowledgment: Reviewer Notifications are available thanks to the EVISE® team, specifically Ben Rowe and Sue Weightman, and the support of Egbert van Wezenbeek, Catriona Fennell and Katherine Eve.

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