I have got an email of invitation to review a paper in a best journal of my field. I had a paper there and somewhere else almost in that field.

As I must invest serious time and attention to complete the review, I wanted to know if that does any advantage on improving my resumé for getting a better chance of acceptance and scholarship for my future PhD program abroad? Basically, should I mention in my CV that I am a reviewer of that journal, when I am sending it to other universities?

P.S. I have graduated from M.Sc. two years ago.

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    I have put the question in the title, feel free to reword it if you want.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 7:49
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    If you look for an academic career, that's an opportunity to jump onto. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


Yes, this helps.

Regarding the CV, I've seen frequently that people include sections like "Other scientific activity" or "Community service" where there is subsection like "Referee for:" followed by a list of journals (sometimes even with numbers indicating how many reviews have been done). So you can make this service visible in your CV.

There is another way in which reviewing may help your career: If you write a sensible review for a relevant paper it will be read by at least one editor of the journal and it's safe to assume that this editor is a respected and reputable member of the community. In this way, writing good reviews helps to build your reputation (albeit slowly as not many people see your reviews with your name attached, but at least these are the "right" people).

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    Can I mention the name of those papers in my CV as well? If the author of those papers are reputable in my field already, Can I tell them I have reviewed your paper when I want to apply at their university, of course after the whole reviewing process. @dirk
    – Masan
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 7:55
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    No, I would strongly advise against this. As far as I know there is no consensus about whether reviewer may lift their anonymity, but at least to some people this would look strange.
    – Dirk
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 7:56
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    If the journal does not link reviewers to paper (some do), don't reveal which paper you reviewed. I would consider this a no-no (for various reasons). Some reviewers do not review anonymously, but always sign off their reviews - in that case, it's a different story, still I do not think it is a good idea to mention the paper reviewed in the CV, unless the journal itself has this policy. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:04
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    Another point to consider is that, if you say which journal you reviewed for (depending on the situation), it may be easy to guess what article you reviewed. I personally don't like to say what journals I've reviewed for, but in your case it would probably help your case to name the journal on your CV.
    – Kimball
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:21

It can definitely help - acting as a reviewer is a signal that an editor somewhere (and in this case, a decent journal) thinks you qualify as an expert in a particular field - that's a good signaling mechanism for trying to get into a PhD program. It should absolutely go on your CV, and likely stay there - reviewing is a form of service, and that's a way many postdocs and faculty are evaluated as well.

Beyond just the direct benefit, it's also a good way to see "inside" the process of peer review, which I've found generally helps the quality of my own work. "Doing better work", while an indirect effect, can only help.

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