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Reviewing for F1000Research?

Information and resources for peer reviewers on F1000Research

So you’ve been invited to peer review an article on F1000Research – now what?

Whether this is your first invitation or you’re a regular peer reviewer, it’s important to know that we do things differently at F1000Research. Our innovative model blazes a trail for better, more transparent peer review, with a focus on enabling constructive conversations within the community, and ultimately improving research quality.

On this page, we’ll explain everything you need to know about being a peer reviewer on F1000Research, including:

  • Details of our transparent peer review process
  • The benefits of open peer review
  • How to write a good report
  • Co-reviewing: a quick introduction

Guidance for researchers

If you're an author submitting your research, head to our page on peer review for researchers: packed with information to help you understand our model, its benefits, and what you need to do to ensure your submission goes smoothly.
Read our guidance

How does peer review work on F1000Research?

Essential information on our open, invited, post-publication peer review process

We operate a fully open and transparent post-publication peer review process, where reviewing happens after an article has been published openly on the F1000Research platform. The peer reviews themselves are published – including the reviewer’s name and affiliations – alongside the article for anyone to read.

We ask our reviewers to assess the quality and validity of the research, ignoring the novelty or perceived interest of the article. This helps us to avoid research waste, because articles such as null and negative studies are welcome on F1000Research and won’t be reviewed any differently to studies reporting positive results.

Five steps to peer reviewing on F1000Research

 1. Our Editorial team get in touch and invite you to review an article. Take a look at the abstract to check it matches your area of expertise, and flag any potential competing interests with our Editorial staff. If you accept the invitation, we’ll send you a link to the published article, a proposed deadline, a link to our Code of Conduct for reviewers, and information on how to submit your report.

Contact about peer review on F1000Research will always come from our team, not the author. Let us know if an author contacts you directly!

 2. Following our guidance on how to write a high quality report, write and submit your review of the article. Along with the full report, you’ll also need to select an approval status for the research (either Approved, Approved with reservations, or Not approved) and answer our Peer Review Questions for that article type.

 3. Our Editorial team check your report thoroughly against our criteria for quality, including ensuring it meets our Code of Conduct.

 4. Your full report is published openly alongside the article, along with your name and affiliation, so that anyone can read your comments and benefit from your expert feedback (including the author).

 5. If the author publishes any updated versions of their article, you will be invited to review these too; authors and general readers can also reply to your peer review using comments, enabling an open conversation about the article within the community.

What are the benefits of open peer review?

Why review openly for F1000Research?

Our innovative model is very different from the traditional, closed peer review which is common in scholarly publishing. We’ve chosen to embrace transparent peer review because of the benefits it brings to both authors and reviewers.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider being a peer reviewer on F1000Research…

Get the credit you deserve

We don’t think it’s fair that traditional, closed peer review doesn’t recognize the work of reviewers. On F1000Research, your name and affiliation are published openly alongside your full peer review report, so your contribution is formally acknowledged. Your reports will even be assigned a DOI, so you can add them to your ORCID record and Publons profile, and others can cite your reviews in their own research.

Develop new skills and progress in your career

Co-reviewing on F1000Research is a great opportunity for early career researchers (ECRs) to gain experience in peer review and develop critical new skills. On F1000Research co-reviewers are still credited openly, meaning ECRs get formal recognition for their contribution to the process.

20% off your next APC

If you peer review an article for F1000Research, you will receive a 20% discount on the Article Processing Charge for one article you publish on the platform in the next 12 months (speaking of which, if you’re ready to publish – submit here).

Who can be a peer reviewer?

Want to peer review for F1000Research? Check you meet our criteria below.

Qualified: You should hold a doctorate (PhD/MD/MBBS or equivalent). In fields where these qualifications are less common, we can consider other factors such as publication history or industry experience.

Expert: You should have demonstrable experience within the same field as the topic of the submitted article. For some subject areas, this can mean being lead author on three publications in the last five years. For fields of study where expertise cannot be measured by publication history, we consider other explanations of suitability.

Impartial: You should not have any competing interests that could impact your assessment of the article. Competing interests can be financial or non-financial, and must be disclosed to our Editorial team. Examples of competing interests :

  • You have published with any of the lead authors in the last 3 years (before the article is published)
  • You are part of the same institute as any of the authors of the paper
  • You are a close collaborator with any of the authors

Before agreeing to review an article, read the abstract and check it matches your area of expertise. If you have any potential competing interests, raise these directly with the Editorial team before accepting.

What else do we look for?

To ensure the validity of the process, we require that reviewers of the same article are from different institutions. We also encourage authors to suggest reviewers from different countries, so that every article benefits from a diverse range of perspectives.

Peer reviewer guidelines

How to write an effective, constructive peer review report

Writing a peer review report can be a daunting task, particularly if you’re new to reviewing in general. That’s why we provide a standardized list of questions for peer reviewers to answer when assessing an article. These questions are slightly different for each article type we offer at F1000Research, which helps to ensure the assessment is relevant.

You can find the full list of questions for all article types here, or keep reading below to see what we ask reviewers to consider for a standard Research Article:  

  1. Is the work clearly and accurately presented and does it cite the current literature?
  2. Is the study design appropriate and does the work have academic merit?
  3. Are sufficient details of methods and analysis provided to allow replication by others?
  4. If applicable, is the statistical analysis and its interpretation appropriate?
  5. Are all the source data underlying the results available to ensure full reproducibility?
  6. Are the conclusions drawn adequately supported by the results?

Along with these questions tailored to each of our article types, we also ask that reviewers adhere to the Open Science Peer Review Oath as follows:

  • Read the article in full before writing your report, including viewing the associated figures, tables, and data
  • Ignore the perceived novelty or interest of the article; focus solely on whether the research is academically sound
  • Include as much detail as possible (with references, as needed) so that authors can fully understand what needs changing
  • Clarify which points are most important for the authors to address
  • Include any concerns or criticisms of the article, but keep the tone constructive: the review should help the authors improve their paper
  • Consider bringing in a co-reviewer if any areas of the article are beyond your expertise
  • Comply with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

Be critical but constructive

These reviewers strike a good balance with their feedback, which is supportive and constructive.
Read the review

Consider the article type

Feedback in this review is clearly relevant and tailored to the Opinion Article being assessed.
Read the review

Structure your review with headings

This report uses headings and numbered lists to structure their review, so it’s easy to follow.
Read the review

Declare any competing interests

Any conflicting or competing interests must be disclosed, to maintain the integrity of the process.
Read the review

Submitting your report

The easiest way to submit your report is using our online form. Use the link we have emailed you, or visit your Peer Reviewing page on our website and go to ‘Invited Reports’. Then click ‘Yes, I agree to be a reviewer for this article’, and then ‘Write your report’. You can then write your report, save a draft copy if needed, and then preview and submit. Unless there are any issues with your review, it will be published openly alongside the article shortly after submission.

Can’t submit using our online form? Ask our Editorial team for a peer review form, fill this in using Word, and then email it back to us. Simple!

Co-reviewing

A quick introduction

Co-reviewing is when the invited peer reviewer works with a colleague (often a more junior member of their team) to assess a manuscript together. Sometimes the invited peer reviewer will bring in a co-reviewer with specific expertise, to ensure all aspects of the article can be assessed fairly. This is commonly seen on articles with unusual methods or complex statistical analyses. Often, co-reviewing is used to train ECRs in peer review, helping them to develop critical skills for their future research career.

A 2019 study surveying ECRs found that many were already involved in co-reviewing, and thought it was a beneficial form of peer review training. Half of those surveyed had even ghost-written peer review reports, and not received any credit for their work. Open peer review helps to address this issue: on F1000Research, co-reviewers get credit for their contribution as their name and affiliation are published openly, along with the full report.

We encourage co-reviewing and are happy for our peer reviewers to bring in co-reviewers at their own discretion. If you have been invited to peer review a manuscript for F1000Research and want to bring in a co-reviewer, just add their name to the form when you submit your report.