Does anyone know how being a journal peer reviewer affects the chance of getting a Ph.D. admission? Note that I majored in mechanical engineering.

I've published a few papers in some prestigious journals in my field. Additionally, I've reviewed papers for three journals (two Q1 + one Q2) for nearly three years. I have also been acknowledged as a "star reviewer" in one of the Q1 journals for two years.

Could anyone (preferably, a professor) tell me whether being a reviewer can increase my chance of getting a Ph.D. admission, to a prestigious university in the USA or not? Should I include these in my CV?

Many thanks

2 Answers 2


Yes, it can help & certainly won't hurt, but there are some issues. You can list in your CV that you are a reviewer for International Basket Weaving, but it is hard to verify. And you can't, ethically, reveal which papers you reviewed in any blind process.

Don't overrate the importance, however. In the US, at least, other things, such as coursework, research, and letters from professors, are much more valuable and important. But every professional action is potentially helpful, at least at the margins.

  • Your answer is kind of weird to me; the reviews are definitely certifiable, at least by Publons! there is bound no need to reveal the details of each paper I've reviewed in my CV.
    – Ehsan3860
    Jul 16, 2022 at 16:32
  • 1
    " the reviews are definitely certifiable": you are technically right, but no prof. in a jury discussing PhD admission will ever check those claims, as getting a definitive answer generally requires to reach out to editors or program committee members. That being said, publons partially solves this, yes, and if it is listed on some website that you are a star reviewer, then by all means add a link.
    – Clément
    Jul 16, 2022 at 16:42

If you are qualified to do peer review, you should have no problems getting admitted to a PhD program. You don't have to list it (since it should be obvious from the rest of your CV) but you might as well, because why not.

  • "since it should be obvious from the rest of your CV": I disagree. Having the trust of editors and colleagues in assessing somebody else's work is quite orthogonal from having published, in my opinion. Of course, the latter facilitates the former, but does not imply it.
    – Clément
    Jul 16, 2022 at 16:44
  • @Clément considering many PhD students don't get reviewer invitations even until after they have graduated, to have reviewed papers for three journals + earn an award from one of them before earning a PhD is definitely not common, and one would expect the CV to be outstanding.
    – Allure
    Jul 16, 2022 at 16:47

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