I am asking because I feel I might be declining more reviews than my fair share.

On the other hand, for every single one of those papers, I felt I was not in a place to judge them, because reading the abstract I saw that they were not closely related to my field of expertise.

I think that in the last year I reviewed slightly less than half of the papers sent my way, declining the rest.

Is this normal? Or am I being seen as lazy by the editors?
If it is relevant, it is from an important journal where I once submitted a paper, but it did not get published there in the end.

  • I see that there is a vote to close this as opinion based. I understand where this is coming from. My expectation is that there is some kind of unwritten rule or general expectation from journal editors. If such thing does not exists, I'll accept the closure. If it is instead seen as field-dependent, I can specify my field in the question, no problem. – Federico May 14 '20 at 12:36
  • I don't think that formal rules exist. But a sane rule would be to review three times as many papers as you submit (if three reviewers per paper are the standard in your field). The total number of invitations doesn't seem like a relevant metrics, since journal editors don't know what other papers you're busy with. – lighthouse keeper May 14 '20 at 12:43
  • Being one of the votes to close, let me explain. Every journal is different. Every reviewer is different. No one is collecting evidence. So all we have left is opinions and personal preferences. My opinion is that if you are still getting requests then you are fine. Worse would be to accept when you have no expertise or no time to do an adequate and timely job. Your mileage may differ. One issue is that not all of the available reasons to close fit the case precisely. But if everyone has their own answer then there is nothing to be learned from this question. Sorry. – Buffy May 14 '20 at 12:49
  • Actually, I recommend you leave it in place. Others may have different ideas. – Buffy May 14 '20 at 12:53
  • 1
    FWIW, I refuse all requests now, being retired and rusty at the craft. But I still get them. – Buffy May 14 '20 at 12:54

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