12

Being early in my academic career, I don't yet get many paper reviews. Until recently, I had reviewed two papers in two years, and rejected one invitation to review. My last review was completed some 10 months ago.

Two weeks ago, I agreed to review a paper. Since then, I have received two more invitations. In total, in the past two weeks, I have received as many invitations to review as in the two years prior to that. All are from different editors, but the latest request is from a journal for which I reviewed 2 weeks ago, and comes 2 days after submitting a review to a different journal.

Although I have not calculated the probability, I guess it is unlikely that the sudden string of reviews is a coincidence. I have the impression that accepting and quickly submitting a helpful review has caused the additional review invitations. Which brings me to the question.

Do editors within the same journal typically share with each other names of people who have written helpful reviews in the (recent) past? How about editors of different journals, that may or may not have the same publisher?

  • 1
    Why the down vote? – gerrit Nov 7 '14 at 19:34
13

The journal editor (in chief) may not, but boards of editors have overlap and word does often spread that "X@Y is prompt, conscientious and fair."

Or it could be random entropy.

I wouldn't give it much thought. At best, you are being thought of as a good reviewer. At worst, it's a random quirk. Choose the interpretation that makes you happiest.

-- p.s. If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's entirely ok to tell a journal that you have to decline. Respond as soon as you can so that they can move on. Quick declinations (and referrals to potential other reviewers when possible) are also signs of good, conscientious colleagues. And I'm a strong believer that the good karma from these unrenumerated acts of conscientiousness will help in the long run.

6

In addition to possible sharing by editors, if the journals are by the same publisher or reviewing system, they may be sharing a database of reviewers and their expertise. Some journal management software lets you search for reviewers with related expertise, and also allows editors to give ratings to their reviewers. Thus, if you give a good review, the software may begin recommending you to editors in the same "family" of publications.

Between being a good reviewer and general growing notability in your field, within the next couple of years you may find yourself getting many review requests. It's important to set a boundary for yourself of how much time you want to invest in professional service, so that you can strike an appropriate balance between service and the rest of your responsibilities.

4

I guess it depends on the platform that manages the submission and review, but within the ScholarOne system as an editor or an associate editor there are additional filters that help you see when was the last time someone was invited for review, how many he has accepted/rejected, what is the average review turnaround time etc.

There are also two additional stats, the timeliness of the review and the relevance of the review that allow editors to essentially mark reviewers (rather simple system of 1-2-3) for a given review and which appear next to each reviewer. High averages, a good turnaround time and matching keywords in your profile make you a good candidate for a reviewer.

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