Reviewer Guide

Overview of being a reviewer

Editors using Scholastica to manage their journal can have their reviewers’ feedback submitted on Scholastica as well to keep the entire article management process in one easy-to-use place.

To invite reviewers, editors will log into Scholastica and either invite the reviewer via his/her email address or via his/her Scholastica account. Reviewers will then read the manuscript, fill out the feedback form and submit their review - all through Scholastica. 

1. Accept/Decline Invitations

Responding to reviewer invitations before you have a Scholastica account

Reviewers will receive invitations via email and, if they're already using Scholastica, on their Dashboard.

If you're being invited to review an article on Scholastica and have never used the site before, there are two important things to note:

  1. Scholastica does not automatically provide you with a username and password in your invitation to review
  2. PLEASE NOTE THE EMAIL ADDRESS THAT WAS USED TO INVITE YOU — that is the email address that you’ll use to sign into your Scholastica account if you accept the invitation and claim your account. 

Email invitation highlighting the email address used 

You'll then click “Accept/Decline invitation” in your email to be taken to the following page:

If you decline the invitation, you’ll be given the chance to suggest other reviewers for the manuscript.

If you accept the invitation, you’ll just need to create a password and enter a few details like your name, institution, and specialties in order to claim your account and log into Scholastica for the first time. 

Congratulations! You'll now be able to login to Scholastica at any time using the email address on the screen (the one that was used to invite you) and the password you just chose.


Please do NOT create more than one account — when you make a second account using a different email address than the one used to invite you, you will not be able to access the manuscript to which you were invited. 

If you need to update your email address or personal details you can do so by logging in, mousing over your name at the top right of the page and selecting "My Account" to update your email address or password and "My Profile" to update personal details like your institutional affiliation.

Accepting or declining reviewer invitations when you already have a Scholastica account

You will be notified about your reviewer invitation in two ways:

  1. Via an email notification to the email address you use to sign into Scholastica
  2. Via a notification on your Dashboard 

When viewing an invitation to review a manuscript, you'll see the manuscript's abstract and keywords. Some journals may also allow you to see the author's name or to read the manuscript itself.

  • To accept, click "Accept Invitation"
  • To decline, click "Decline with opportunity to suggest reviewers"
    • If you know of reviewers more suited to review this manuscript, you'll be prompted to enter their names and/or email addresses after you've clicked "Decline"

Reviewer invitation email and Dashboard notification

2. Reviewing

Read and review manuscripts right on Scholastica or download the PDF and read it wherever you like.

Reading the manuscript

Scholastica provides a simple, distraction-free environment for reading manuscripts.

  • From your Dashboard, click My Reviews.
    • Manuscripts you've agreed to review are listed on this page. If you don't see a manuscript you're looking for, check your Dashboard for the invitation and be sure you've accepted it.
    • Click the manuscript you want to read.
  • In the Reviewer Work Area, click Read manuscript.
    • Read the manuscript on this page, or click the PDF icon to download it to your computer. You can also view supporting files by clicking the paperclip icon and the manuscript's details by clicking the "i" icon.

Reading a manuscript

Writing a review

Once you’ve read the manuscript it’s on to the last step -- filling out the review form to share your feedback with the editors!

  • In the Reviewer Work Area, click Write Review.
    • Overview questions are required and will only be visible to editors.
    • Editors can also add extra questions based on a 1-5 agreement scale, or open text response. These questions will be individually marked as to whether they are exclusively visible to editors or will be shared with authors.
    • You can save your review at any time by clicking the Save button on the right side of the page.
    • When you have filled out every field on the review form, click the Save button then choose save and submit review to submit your review to the journal
      • The review form on Scholastica supports Markdown and LaTeX formatting so you can add hyperlinks, use LaTeX to add equations in your review, and more! For a guide on how to use Markdown to add formatting, please click here.
    • Please note: Once submitted, the review cannot be edited. If you have any clarifying points you'd like to share with the editors after you've submitted your review you can do so via Discussions.

    An example reviewer form

    Tips on writing helpful peer review comments


    • List positive aspects of the paper before getting into the improvements that could be made
    • Use the journal-provided reviewer form to guide the feedback you give
    • Avoid working on more than one peer review per day if possible to avoid decision fatigue


    • Give vague feedback without any context like “this is unclear”
    • Be afraid to ask for support or recommend that editors follow up with another reviewer if areas of the paper are outside your range of expertise

    More information and tips from fellow peer reviewers : How to Write Helpful Peer Review Comments

    Submitted reviews

    When you've successfully submitted your review, you can view your submitted reviews as well as active reviewer invitations on your My Reviews page.

    You'll also be sent an email notification when your review was successfully submitted.

    "Review successfully submitted" email notification

    3. Contact the Journal


    Reviewers can discuss a particular manuscript with the manuscript's editors using Discussions. Read How do discussions work? for details.

    Email the journal

    • Journals can be contacted via email on their profile pages.
    • You can search or browse journals on the browse page.
    • Click Send message to journal; an email message to the journal’s primary contact will be opened.

    Send a message to the journal

    4. Contacting Scholastica

    If you have any questions about anything to do with Scholastica (trouble logging in, accepting the invitation to review, etc.) please feel free to reach out! Our Contact Form can be found here.
    Image of the Scholastica 'contact us' form