How to Make Review Recommendations

February 23, 2017 Catherine Bowley

You've just completed a read through of the article you've been invited to review. Hopefully this will give you a good idea of what recommendations to make before it can be accepted for publication.

But some sections of the article may be stronger than others, making it hard to decide what feedback you should give. Broadly speaking, the following questions should be addressed within your review and recommendations:

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There are four possible outcomes based on your assessment and here are some example scenarios for each:

  1. Accept with minor revisions
    Minor revisions may include changes or clarification to any points that have not been made clear in the presentation of the research or it might indicate that some citations are missing. It could also mean that there may be too much or too little information in the presentation of the data or that slight amendments need to be made so that the conclusion correlates with the data.
  2. Accept with major revisions
    This means that more significant edits need to be made before the article can be accepted. These could include rectifying a flaw in the methodology, addressing an ethical concern, or further consideration of a past study. The presentation of the article could also poorly represent the results leading to flaws in the interpretation or conclusion.
  3. Re-submit to another journal or reject
    An outright rejection of an article is an unfortunate scenario for an author to be in, but in some cases it may be because the article would be better suited to another journal and should be resubmitted there. However, sometimes research can be substantially flawed. The inclusion of unoriginal ideas, inappropriate methodology, and questionable results can mean that rejection is justified.
  4. Accept without revisions
    The dream scenario! But, one that is in fact quite rare, especially after only one review. For an article to be accepted for publication its methodology must be detailed, replicable and adhere to strict compliance guidelines that raise no ethical concerns. The discussion and presentation of the data will flow logically, have all the citations present, and correct and offer a solid conclusion.

Learn more about the peer review process at

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