I recently reviewed a paper and recommended Major Revision. I provided a referee report with some detailed comments on what the revision should address. I can see from the system that the Editor gave a decision of Major Revision, the authors of the paper have been notified and they already submitted a revision four months ago. However, the Editor did not invite me as a referee in the second round. I have been refereeing for over seven years and this is the first time that I experienced such a situation. I have been obsessing that the Editor found my report incompetent or not useful. But, the overall recommendation was the same (Major Revision) and the same journal asked me to review other manuscripts in the same time frame. What do you think the reason could be?

  • 5
    Maybe the review assignments haven't gone out yet for the second round from four months ago. :) Or maybe they got your contact information wrong. Once my advisor asked me, "I need that review, where is it?" and I was like, "What review?" "The one I invited you for a few months ago." When we looked into it she typoed my email address and so it went into the void and I never saw it.
    – Irwin
    Jan 3, 2014 at 21:32
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    I downvoted this because the question seems to be about a personal case and invites guessing about the editor's intention. However, the more general question "When is a reviewer activated again by the editor?" would be more appropriate (and also a very good question).
    – Dirk
    Jan 4, 2014 at 19:28

4 Answers 4


There are always difficulties second-guessing from what others actions result from. The fact you did not get re-invited, is not strange in my experience (as reviewer and editor). First, I assume you do not know what the other (I assume the journal uses more than one reviewer) reviewer provided in a second review. It may have been minor revisions and the editor could make a decision to provide a major revisions verdict but go directly to accept if he/she thought the corrections were good enough. This is an editors prerogative.

It is always possible that an editor chooses a different reviewer for the reason you mention but given that you have done many reviews before, I sincerely doubt this is the case or reason. Another possibility is that the editor felt someone with different expertise was needed for some aspect of the manuscript, perhaps based on comments by the second reviewer. But, you will never know the details of the story and I would not think twice about the event. The fact that you keep getting requests shows your expertise is in demand.


The most common reasons not to invite a previous reviewer for a second review are, in my experience:

  1. The reviewer wrote a poor review the first time (probably doesn't apply in your case).
  2. The reviewer ticked the "I do not think it's necessary for me to check the revision" box.
  3. The editor decided to make a decision immediately, without consulting reviewers. For example, the author's response to reviewers might be poor and the editor feels further reviewing is a waste of time.

In your case, I'll suggest a much more benign explanation: the editor noticed that you have already been invited to review another article recently or perhaps already have an ongoing review, and decided not to invite you again for fear of taking up too much of your time.


My guess would be that when the editor saw the revised manuscript and the comments from the authors, he deemed the revision to be less major than he initially thought, and decided to not send the manuscript out for review a second time.


The editor thought your comments were sufficiently addressed in the revision and made the decision to publish.

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