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  1. First reading

The first reading is a cursory reading. It will help you get an initial impression of the work and get a sense of whether your possible recommendation will be to accept or reject the work.

Try to keep the following questions in mind - they will help you form your overall impression:

1.1. Spotting potential major flaws

Although you should read the entire paper, choosing the right one to read first can save you time by flagging major flaws early.

Examples of possible major defects include:

1.2. Errors in information

If the methodology is not a problem, the numerical data in the tables as well as the pictures should be reviewed correctly. In scientific research, everything usually revolves around collected data and information. If there are major flaws in it, it is very likely that the manuscript will have to be rejected. Such problems include:

If you find major gaps or problems with the data, provide your reasoning and clear evidence on which to base your opinion (including specific citations).

1.3. Conclusions of the first reading

After the first reading and using your notes, including those with any major or minor flaws you found, compose the first two parts of your review – the first summarizing the research question you are addressing and the second the contribution of the paper.

1.3.1. First part

Here you should state the main question to which the research relates and summarize the objectives, approaches and conclusions of the work. You should thereby:

Focus on the good things in the paper to give the author a sense of what he did well.

1.3.2. Second part

It should provide a conceptual overview of the research contribution. Therefore, the following should be considered:

After putting these two parts together, you should be in a position to decide whether this manuscript is seriously flawed and should be discarded (see also the following sections of the guide). Or it is in principle possible to publish it and deserves a detailed, careful re-reading.

1.4. Rejection after first reading

Even if you have come to the opinion that the paper you are reviewing has serious flaws, be sure to read the entire paper. This is very important because you can find some very positive aspects that can be passed on to the author, which could help them with future submissions.

A complete reading will also ensure that all initial statements are truly accurate and fair. After all, you need to know the entire work before you decide to reject it.

  1. Second reading

After the paper has passed your first reading and you have decided that the paper is most likely publishable, the purpose of a second but detailed reading is to help prepare the manuscript for publication. Of course, you still have the option to suggest that the paper be rejected after the second reading.

The criterion for acceptance is whether the paper contributes to the knowledge base or to the understanding of certain phenomena. A thorough reading should take no more than an hour for the average experienced reviewer.

We will also give some recommendations to save time and simplify the review:

Once you have completed all your preparations, spend an hour or more reading the paper carefully.

2.1. Conducting a second reading

As you read the manuscript a second time, pay attention to:

You should also consider the following:

Remember that the reviewer's role is to judge the content of the research and do not waste time correcting grammar or spelling.

2.2. Second reading: Guidelines for each part of the paper



Topic topicality


so that others can follow the same steps.

Results and discussion

Collected information: Figures, graphs and tables of data


List of literature


  1. How to structure your report

3.1. Recommendation

  1. Review result

The reviewer's rating should at least include:

Reviewer's final opinion: