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For reviewing papers, some journals ask you to have a PhD degree. I want to know, if the PhD degree is the obtained certificate at the end of your PhD, or it could be also be, for example, your third inscription in the PhD (you have previously two succefull years in preparing the degree).

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"Having a PhD" means that you completed the entire degree program—including writing, defending, and depositing a dissertation—and were formally awarded a degree by the host university. Current PhD students would not qualify as reviewers for the journal you describe.

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As a related followup (perhaps this is not the place?): I sometimes get emails asking for reviews that open with a line like "Dear Dr. Doucette". No mention is made that I must have a PhD to review, but there does seem to be an implicit assumption that I do have one. In such a case, am I obligated to inform the editor explicitly that I do not have a PhD? – John Doucette Dec 3 '12 at 13:16
@JohnDoucette No, I don't think so. The editor is just erring on the side of caution; it's better not to leave off the "Dr." in case you do have a PhD. And most journals (fortunately) don't have a stupid degree requirement for refereeing. – JeffE Dec 3 '12 at 16:43

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