I recently agreed to review a journal paper (in theoretical computer science). After I started to read it in depth, I found out it is much harder than I expected - over 60 pages with over 20 theorems with detailed proofs. Also, the topic is not exactly my expertise - I do not know a lot of the related works that the authors base their results on. So far, I managed to verify about 10 of the shorter theorems. They seem correct, though I have some minor comments. The other theorems seem so long and complex that it will take me weeks to review, especially if I would need to read and understand the theorems in the cited papers that these theorems are based on. What should I do?
I thought of writing to the editor and explaining the situation in detail. Maybe the editor will be able to find another reviewer that will verify the other theorems. But I do not know how such letter will be perceived. In particular:
- Is it common for a reviewer to review only a part of the paper, and leave the rest of the paper to other reviewers?
- On the other hand: is it my duty, as a reviewer, to complete my review, regardless of how much time it takes?