I would like to know whether I can place an inquiry to a journal editor about writing an invited review paper. In particular, I would like to write a review paper on a particular topic which is currently of significant research interest. However, I have not been invited to do so from the journal (where I would like to publish this review paper). In this regard, I am wondering whether I could draw the editor's attention via email and ask him whether I could be requested officially from him to write this review paper. Is it a valid inquiry from my side?


Is it a valid inquiry from my side?

NO. Invited reviews are the word "invited" means. The other party invites you to write a literature review paper because of your great expertise. You do not invite yourself. If you are Mr.Nobody, the whole effort of self-inviting will be embarrassing for you.

That does not mean that you should not actually proceed with the review paper. Just keep in mind that review papers are usually done by respectable and well-known authors who have contributed greatly and have great expertise in the suggested area. Also, remember that writing an extensive literature review may be very time consuming if you want to cover a great area. This is why review papers are done my multiple well-established authors who contribute almost equally and not by a single inexperienced author.


Yes, you can. What sort of reply you will get is, however, uncertain, probably ranging from no reply to a kind explanation of what applies.

Invited reviews are just invited and the way the journal editors make the choice varies. I am sure the term Invited review is used varies from the case where every published review is though of and invited by the editors to the case where editors consider suggestions from others, perhaps ranging from prospective authors to their own ideas of useful reviews.

Running a journal where Invited reviews are accepted, I can say that the word Invited for us means there is no point in just sending in a review for consideration, it will be rejected, but we do accept suggestions which we then check for general interest and suitability and only then, maybe, provide a go ahead. In other words, an Invited review strictly means we have to agree that the proposal is viable. Suggestions can come from anyone, including as mentioned authors. So this being just one case, still serves to show that the concept Invited review can be viewed slightly differently from the literal.

So you can send your mail but please make sure you try to figure out as best you can how the individual journal invites such reviews, it should be clear from their journal page or their "Instructions for Authors".

EDIT: I should add that any letter should also include a proposal of the review which should clearly and in a short form describe the necessity for a review of that field. This is probably a point that is "make or break" if the journal accepts suggestions from prospective authors.


I think there is some confusion in this question stemming from the notion of "official invitation." Unless you have some odd bureaucratic requirement that you have to fulfill in order to submit, requesting an official invitation seems odd.

I think that the notion you are actually trying to get at is what is more typically referred to as a presubmission inquiry. In a presubmission inquiry, you write to the journal editor and say essentially, "I'm thinking about writing Article X. Would you be interested in me submitting this article to your journal?" The editor then comes back with "Yes," "No," or "Maybe, if you do the following..."

Presubmission inquiry can often be a good idea for everybody, because it means that you don't waste your time writing something the journal isn't interested in, and the journal's submissions are more aligned with what it wants to receive. Pretty much every journal is open to them, and some journals even encourage all authors to go through a formal presubmission inquiry process.

In short: don't ask to be invited; send a presubmission inquiry to ask if they are interested.

  • Thanks to Alex and Peter - both of you. I totally agree with Peter. I would rather consider my case as presubmission inquiry which I will place to the editor and see how it goes. May 16 '15 at 17:23

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