I wrote a detailed and long review on the first round and requested a minor or major revision.

Then after 1 or 2 weeks I got a mail notification that the paper is published. I never had the chance to check if the authors improved the paper or not.

Only after logging in into susy I can see what the authors answered to my original review. No mail, and no request to review the revised version and no opportunity to give my feedback. And usually MDPI does not hold back in sending out emails or requesting reviews.

This happened twice to me and also to a colleague. I even explicitly wrote to the editor that I want to review the revised version also, which was ignored without a comment.

Now my questions:

Is this a common practice of MDPI journals?

How can we be sure that there was even a second review round from real academics? Given that it is hard to get reviewers and I can not see what they wrote?

I think that this is unacceptable and will avoid everything from MDPI in the future.

  • 1
    Yup. MDPI has dodgy practices. Once they stole my colleague's list of topics for a special issue and gave it to another person. Jul 20, 2022 at 8:57
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    Obvious explanation is that there is no second review round, and the editor decided the revisions by the authors are good enough.
    – Allure
    Jul 20, 2022 at 9:43
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    @Allure ok, but thats not how i think review should be done, and is not done commonly by other publishers. Also its not transparent and they even ignored my request to review the revision.
    – gogoolplex
    Jul 20, 2022 at 10:02
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    @gogoolplex All the same, reviewers only offer recommendations; the editor is the one who makes the final decision. I don't see why you don't think this is commonly done either, e.g. academia.stackexchange.com/questions/135326/….
    – Allure
    Jul 20, 2022 at 10:13
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    The appropriateness of not sending the paper for another review largely depends on the nature of the comments (and the expertise of the editor). In the case of a major revision, it would be very untypical for a serious journal to not send it for another review. Jul 20, 2022 at 10:35

2 Answers 2


I have reviewed for MDPI several times. I do not recall any cases where there was a second round of reviews.

Neither authors nor reviewers are entitled to a second round of reviews.

Editorial competence at MDPI is not consistent.

  • 3
    I just did a second round of reviews for one of the better MDPI journals (Symmetry) last night. They appear to have sent the paper back to all three of the original reviewers.
    – Buzz
    Jul 23, 2022 at 15:35
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    "Neither authors nor reviewers are entitled to a second round of reviews." I'm not sure I understand the point of this sentence. Professional behaviour is not about "entitlement". Feb 16 at 20:55
  • @JochenGlueck One is entitled to have their paper evaluated fairly, and that includes consistently following policies of the journal. If the journal's policy is to require a second round of reviews, as the other answer indicates, then they are entitled to a second round of reviews.
    – user71659
    Feb 17 at 20:42

Disclaimer, I'm employed at MDPI now having joined them earlier this year.

This is very much abnormal. Here's the official guidelines on what to do when a revision is submitted:

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Steps 1.1-1.4 are about preparing the manuscript for review (so, check if authors have made the revisions, if there is a response to reviewers file, etc.). Notable this doesn't actually stop the editor from ignoring the guidelines and asking for a final decision, but it would be against official policy.

So: very much abnormal, unless you marked your revision as "Minor", although even in that case the editor should see your confidential comments and invite you again.

Assuming it doesn't break reviewer anonymity, send me identifying information for the paper(s) so I can check what happened.

Edit: I just encountered another reason why MDPI might not send you the manuscript after revision. There is a stated requirement that all MDPI reviewers must have PhDs, or MDs if they are in a medical field. If you do not have a PhD but are invited anyway, and a different editor checks the original editor's (i.e. the person that invited you) work & notices you don't actually have a PhD, then the standard policy is apparently to disregard your review regardless of what you've written. If this is what happened, then you will of course not be invited to review the revision.

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    Is it possible that different journals at MDPI have very different workflows and what you see as part of your job is maybe the abnormal case? Feb 16 at 18:28
  • @user2705196 Good question. I searched up the official guidelines and amended the answer. It is possible the editor handling the manuscript ignored the guidelines, but it would be against official policy.
    – Allure
    Feb 17 at 0:47
  • What do these guidelines suggest if the original reviewer declines because they have no time to check the revision in the allotted time slot, which is usually very short? Do you give them an extension or do you move on to other reviewers? Feb 17 at 7:29
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    @FedericoPoloni the guidelines don't say. I asked a colleague who has been at MDPI longer than I have, and she says we tell the reviewer the deadline is flexible and ask them how much time they need. Presumably from there it becomes a question of exactly how much more time they need. If the original reviewer doesn't respond at all, we ask the editorial board member handling the manuscript for suggestions. It's possible they will make a decision, also possible they'll say get more reviewers.
    – Allure
    Feb 17 at 8:09

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