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I have very recently returned two referee reports for two different Elsevier journals. Within two days, I have received two new requests from the exact same two journals (but from different editors).

Of course this might be a coincidence, but now naturally I am wondering: did these editors somehow know that I had just 'freed myself' from the previous commitments and was again available as a reviewer? Is there, for instance, a field in Elsevier's online platform that tells editors how many assignments I have at a given time?

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I think there are two aspects to your question:

1) Do editors see how many other papers you are currently reviewing?

Yes, in fact this feature is supported by at least some submission systems. I am not sure about Elsevier, but below is a screenshot from Manuscript Central (also known as ScholarOne):

Column Header of Reviewer List

The second and third column list how many open reviews the person has, and when (s)he last submitted a review.

2) Do editors care? Are you more likely to get new reviews when you have submitted your current ones?

In general, they will likely not care too much. At least in CS there are myriads of different systems in use, and knowing that a person has currently no open reviews in any given one of them tells me close to nothing about what her or his total review backlog looks like. Further, it is not my place as an editor to decide whether the person can take on another review - I can invite her or him, and they will just decide for themselves. That's what the Accept / Refuse buttons are for, after all.

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    Out of curiosity: what is "average R-score"? – user12956 Oct 27 '16 at 8:55
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    @user12956 No idea. I wondered myself. I have 3.0, if that helps :D – xLeitix Oct 27 '16 at 9:02
  • Interesting, thanks. Do you know if the "current reviews" fields include only thoe for that specific journal, or all reviews across all the journals that use ManuscriptCentral? – Federico Poloni Oct 27 '16 at 12:30
  • Apparently, the R-score is "a rating metric for reviewers", but the same page states that "you may decide that average R-score is not relevant because your journal does not score reviewers", and that you can display other metrics such as the average turnaround time. – Federico Poloni Oct 27 '16 at 12:35
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    Funnily, I am an associate editor for a journal that uses this system, and I was not aware that I can rate reviewers. – xLeitix Oct 27 '16 at 13:12

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