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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Peer Review Checklist

Photo by Pat Freling, Paint Strategies

Working on a peer review? Keep this checklist handy as you go through each step.

Want a printable version of this checklist?
Download the PDF

When you’re invited to review a manuscript

Confirm the manuscript is in your area of expertise

Make sure you have enough time

Check for competing interests

Related guide
You’ve been invited to review. Now what?

When you’re reading the manuscript

Identify the research question and key claims

Think about context and related literature

Look at the figures and tables. Are they clear? Do they represent what the study is about?

Examine the results. Are they supported by the data?

Read the conclusions. Do they make sense?

Check the methods. Are they appropriate and reproducible?

Review the journal guidelines and publication criteria

Keep everything confidential!

Related guide
How to read a manuscript as a peer reviewer

When you’re writing the report

Start with a summary of the research

State your overall impression

Number your comments and separate them into “major” and “minor” issues

Give concrete examples

Refer to specific sections and page numbers

Don’t focus on spelling and grammar

Be professional and respectful

Indicate if you’re available to look at the revised version

Include positive feedback too!

Finish on time

Related guide
How to write a peer review

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