After you submit your report
Once you have submitted your report your involvement in the review process may be finished. However, depending on the decisions made by the journal, you may be asked to look at a revised version of the paper.
What happens to your report?
Your report, along with that of any other referees, will be seen by the journal Editors. They will assess the referee reports and make a decision on how to proceed. If the referee reports agree, the decision will be made to either:
- accept the paper without any amendments
- ask the authors to revise the paper
- reject the paper
If the article is accepted without any amendments or is rejected outright your job will be complete. If the authors need to make revisions, you may be asked to provide further assessment of the manuscript. Some journals allow authors to appeal against a decision to reject their article. This may mean that you are asked to comment on the appeal or that a paper you have recommended for rejection is published.
If you are asked to look at a revised manuscript, a list of changes to the article may be included (this will have been provided by the author). You should judge the revised manuscript to the same quality criteria as you did the original version. If the authors have not addressed your concerns satisfactorily make this clear in your report.
If the referee reports do not agree the journal may consult an adjudicator. An adjudicator is a senior referee or Editorial Board member. They are asked to provide an opinion on both the article and the referee reports. If an Editorial Board member is used they may be told the names of the referees to help them make their decision, but the authors will still only see anonymous reports.
The adjudicator may agree or disagree with your assessment of the article. If an adjudicator has been used you may receive the adjudicator’s comments with any revised version of the manuscript you are asked to review. You should consider all reports during your assessment of the revised version.