I'd like to know if there are any requirements for referees to review a paper in a peer-review journal. For example, for an editor in another journal, is it OK to be a referee for the paper? I think it should be OK because, if an editor at journal A has reviewed a paper but somehow A rejected it, then it is reasonable for the same editor to be a referee for the paper at journal B because he already knows it. (Assume the editor likes the paper, as well as A and B are not in the same field and in the direct competition.)

  • Do you mean formal requirement? I think it is usually just that there is no siginificant conflict of interest (e.g., it shouldn't be one of the authors or family members etc)
    – Kimball
    Sep 5, 2021 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


When editors are employees of a journal, it would probably be prohibited, perhaps informally, by the employing journal. But if the editor is a volunteer, then there should be no problem, although the management of the journal might get grumpy about it.

I've assumed, of course, that the two journals see themselves as being in competition. Then it would only be a question of what "full time employee" really means.

And, an employed editor can ask a superior at the journal (their employer) for guidance; either general or specific to the paper in question.

  • Yes, that is my assumption @Kimball. Do you think my answer is inconsistent with that? Say more if you think so, please.
    – Buffy
    Sep 5, 2021 at 14:16
  • 1
    An employed editor would be wise to ask a superior first, then. Why risk a confrontation?
    – Buffy
    Sep 5, 2021 at 14:38
  • There is no risk of confrontation because the two journals are not in the same field and in the direct competition, as I said earlier. Sep 5, 2021 at 14:54
  • Being in direct competition worries me a bit.
    – Buffy
    Sep 5, 2021 at 14:57
  • As I said, the two journals are not in the direct competition. Sep 5, 2021 at 14:59

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