PDRA Corner: How to become a reviewer of peer-reviewed journals

One of the ways to enhance PDRAs’ academic skills and contribute to their field is to become a reviewer of peer-reviewed journals. Reviewing papers can help you improve your own writing and research skills, expand your network, and contribute to the scientific community, as well as keep you updated on the latest developments in your area of interest. However, becoming a reviewer is not always easy, especially for PDRAs who may have limited experience and exposure. This communication aims to provide some guidance and tips for PDRAs who want to take on this role and benefit from it.

  1. Identify the journals that match your expertise and interests. You can use online databases, such as Scopus or Web of Science, to find journals that publish papers in your field. You can also check the websites of the journals and look at their aims and scope, editorial board, and recent publications.
  2. Register as a potential reviewer on the journal’s website. Most journals have an online system where you can create a profile and indicate your areas of expertise, research interests, and availability. You can also upload your CV or link to your Google Scholar profile to showcase your publications and qualifications. You can also participate as a volunteer. For more information, hub (elsevier.com) is available as a reference. Most potential reviewers register and engage in activities as peer reviewers through the hub (elsevier.com).
  3. Contact the editors or editorial assistants of the journals. You can send them an email introducing yourself and expressing your interest in reviewing papers for their journal. You can also attach your CV or a list of your publications and mention some topics or keywords that you are familiar with. Be polite and professional in your communication and follow up if you don’t hear back from them in a reasonable time.
  4. Accept invitations to review papers that match your expertise and availability. Once you are registered as a potential reviewer, you may receive invitations from the editors or editorial assistants to review papers that have been submitted to their journal. You should respond to these invitations as soon as possible and let them know if you can accept or decline the request. If you accept, you should also check the deadline and the guidelines for reviewers provided by the journal.
  5. Provide constructive and timely feedback on the papers you review. When you review a paper, you should read it carefully and critically, evaluate its originality, quality, clarity, and relevance, and write a detailed report with your comments and recommendations. You should be respectful and courteous to the authors and avoid any personal or biased remarks. You should also adhere to the deadline and submit your report on time.


Becoming a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals can be a rewarding experience for PDRAs who want to enhance their academic profile and skills. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting invited to review papers and provide valuable feedback to the authors and editors.

For more information, feel free to contact BCI internal newsletter team at uob-bci-internal-newsletter@bristol.ac.uk

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