Today I received two suspicious emails from Elsevier Editorial System:

  • the first email is a registration confirmation to the platform

Dear XX Name Surname,

You have received this system-generated message because you have been registered by an Editor for the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) – the online submission and peer review tracking system for Information Sciences.

The EES account for Information Sciences has been added to your existing Elsevier profile.

Please note: The username for your Elsevier profile is the E-mail Address to which this message was sent.

When you log in to EES, you may update your password and other personal information by selecting the "change details" option on the menu bar at the top of the page. Any updates you make to your contact and log-in information will be reflected in any other Elsevier product account that is linked to your Elsevier profile.

Please visit our FAQs for more Elsevier profile information.

Kind regards,

Elsevier Editorial System Information Sciences

If you need further assistance, please visit our customer support site at some link Here you can search for solutions on a range of topics, find answers to frequently asked questions and learn more about EES via interactive tutorials. You will also find our 24/7 support contact details should you need any further assistance from one of our customer support representatives.

  • the second email is a review invite

Re: Some Paper Title

by Some List of Authors

Submitted to Some Field

Dear XX Surname,

As we believe that you are an expert in the field of the above referenced submission, we would like to invite you to review it. We would very much appreciate it if you could find the time to examine this article with regard to its suitability for publication in Information Sciences. To view the submission for first inspection, please click: some link

You are allowed 21 days to upload your review report.

If you accept the invitation as you are willing to review this submission, please click on the link below: some link Convince yourself that any documents you upload are anonymous, so that the author cannot retrieve your identity.

If you decline the invitation as you are not willing to review this submission, please click on the link below: some link If it is not possible for you to referee this article within this period, we would appreciate it if you could inform us as soon as possible. We may be able to extend the due date for the review. We would appreciate suggestions for alternative reviewers in case you decline to review.

In case none of the above links seem to function properly, please click: some link (or copy and paste into your web browser) and log-in as a reviewer.

Make sure to select the "Reviewer" button.

Your username is: my email

If you need to retrieve password details, please go to: some link

Please save this information in a safe place.

We recommend you to change your password to something more memorable upon initial connection to Elsevier Editorial System.

Please return your review comments within 21 days, which will start from the date you on-line accept to review.

As a reviewer you are entitled to complimentary access to Scopus and ScienceDirect for 30 days. Full instructions and details will be provided upon accepting this invitation to review.

In addition to accessing our subscriber content, you can also use our Open Access content. Read more about Open Access here: some link

PLEASE NOTE: Information Sciences invites authors to submit any supplementary computer code, data snippets, algorithms and other machine readable structures in re-usable .txt format with their article as Inline Supplementary Material. We ask editors and reviewers to include Inline Supplementary Material in their review process to verify that it is relevant to the paper, appears to function according to any descriptions in the main text, and does not have any superficial flaws or errors , and importantly that the title, caption and description for this material are correct.

Thank you in advance for your kind help and we hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards,

Name Surname, Titles Titles

I perceive the fact that an account was created for me without my consent, I didn't even know the service existed before receiving the email, as a red flag for a possible scam. I also find it weird that in the second email I am requested to click some link/access to the service both in case I accept or decline the unsolicited review invitation.

I don't know personally whoever signed the email, and from the list of his/her publications it looks like the chances we "met" at some of the conferences I have previously attended in are pretty low.

Since I am somewhat "new" to Academia, I would like to ask whether this kind of aggressive review request is common and normally socially acceptable, or whether this is some kind of scam I have never met before.

Is it safe, or maybe I should say sane, to give a look at the paper and maybe review it? So far I didn't click any of the links in the email, since I didn't setup an appropriate sandbox environment for doing this task alone yet.

ETA: There are a couple of questions on this website that seem related with mine, like this. However, there also appear to be several questions about the Elsevier Editorial System on this board, which somehow seem to corroborate the notion that the aforementioned system is not a predatory/malicious service, as it was indeed the case in the linked question.

  • 3
    "Somewhat new to academia" ... Presumably there are more senior professors where you are. Ask them. Back when I started, an editor would ask me in person to do a review, or by a letter (you know, paper document, delivered physically not electronically). For all I know, this sort of electronic request is the usual nowadays. Is it safe? Well, don't give them any financial information...
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 17:30
  • 3
    I agree with Shake Baby that this is typical. What usually happens is that someone on the editorial board decides to invite you, looks up and puts in your e-mail address, and then all of this is automated. You could contact the academician whose name is on the e-mail, and ask if they initiated the request.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 18:07
  • 2
    Also, is 21 days a normal review time in your field? In my subject (math), 3-6 months is much more common (and 1-2+ years is not unheard of), and saying "You are allowed 21 days" would be ridiculous. Nevertheless, it is common for publishers (or automated e-mails sent by publishers) to try to unilaterally impose such deadlines. I would double check with a colleague before considering myself bound by such a deadline.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 18:13
  • 2
    @Anonymous I believe maths is the exception here. 21 days is perfectly normal in my field. A challenging review would take me one to two days, usual is half a day net time.
    – user9482
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 8:20
  • 7
    Extremely profitable multinational publishers making you, a professional, work for free while charging your institution a very substantial sum of money to get the end product of your work is a scam :-) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cost_of_Knowledge Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


This is the usual way reviewer invitation arrives. Go for it.

(Maybe check if the email and the links you received are really from an Elsevier domain).

  • 5
    Yes, these are the typical emails you get from the Elsevier review management system. Most likely not a scam.
    – user9482
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 18:04
  • 10
    Or at least no more of a scam than Elsevier usually is ;-)
    – os1
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 15:11
  • If you had already been registered in the system, you would have received only the second email. In any case, you are allowed to decline any review invite. Even if you decline this invitation, you could go ahead with the registration: then you will be in the system the next time an Elsevier journal editor wants your opinion on a paper.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 14:09

It is normal, but not a good practice. You might want to ask them how much they pay. Not that they usually pay, but it makes them aware they should.

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