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Review Instructions for ScienceOpen

At ScienceOpen, you can peer review any of 60 million research articles (and climbing every day!). That’s right! Any one you want. Even if an article has been published and ‘passed’ peer review, you can still comment on it. The only reason there would ever be no value in doing this would be if all published work were completely infallible, which is clearly not the case.

To review an article, you must create a LOGIN ID for ScienceOpen and ORCID by following the instructions here.

The ScienceOpen community has agreed to only allow formal peer reviews from ScienceOpen members that have published at least 5 articles in peer reviewed journals. For this reason, please do not forget to add your publication history on ORCID. Only if you do not have an ORCID account can a peer review manager at ScienceOpen set up an account for you. If you would like for someone to do this, please send an email to before proceeding. Put the phrase “Create accounts” in the subject line, and put your name and email address in the body of the email.

After your IDs are created and your ScienceOpen username is linked to your official ORCID account with at least 5 publications in your publication history, you can review the paper by clicking on the review tab on the article homepage.

You will be asked to evaluate the paper in four different categories from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent). The categories are as follows:

  1. Level of importance: Is the publication of relevance for the academic community and does it provide important insights? Does the work represent a new approach or new findings in comparison with other publications in the field? (note that this doesn’t preclude publication, as the paper has already been published!)
  2. Level of validity: Is the hypothesis clearly formulated? Is the argumentation stringent? Are the data sound, well-controlled and statistically analysed? Is the interpretation balanced and supported by the data? Are appropriate and state-of-the-art methods used? Note that ScienceOpen also accepts publication of “negative” results (we just don’t think of them as being ‘negative’..)
  3. Level of completeness: Do the authors reference the appropriate scholarly context? Do the authors provide or cite all information to follow their findings or argumentation? Do they cite the all relevant publications in the field?
  4. Level of comprehensibility: Is the language correct and easy to understand for an academic in the field? Are the figures well displayed and captions properly described? Is the article systematically and logically organized?

You will be provided with a space to paste in your written review. You may choose to use the questions above as prompts for your written review. Alternatively, you may provide your own format and fill in the content as you see fit. We trust that you will strive to make your review constructive, yet critical.

In our experience, all reviews at ScienceOpen have been civil, progressive, and detailed. As all reviews are public, we expect that researchers will strive for high quality, and to conduct themselves in a manner befitting professional researchers. To date, we have no data to suggest that this will never be the case.

For further details, please refer to our Peer Review Guidelines.