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Reviewer Requests - Best Practice

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What to do if you have a technical problem with OJS:

1. Search the forum. You can do this from the Advanced Search Page or from our Google Custom Search, which will search the entire PKP site. If you are encountering an error, we especially recommend searching the forum for said error.

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Reviewer Requests - Best Practice

Postby ESC Editor » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:14 pm


My editorial team is looking for some advice on soliciting new peer reviewers on OJS. When using the "create new reviewer" function, the editor has the option of clicking the box for "Send the user a welcome email containing their username and password." However, this seems an odd thing to do, as potential reviewers will receive an email advising them of their registration with the journal (when they may not even be familiar with that publication) in advance of our request to review. We are concerned, however, that if we don't use this awkward welcome email function, reviewers will be unable to sign on to the system or register themselves at a later date (is that the case?). Finally, we're not even sure which of the template emails is being sent out in this case. Any advice on how to best handle this situation would be much appreciated.

ESC Editor
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Re: Reviewer Requests - Best Practice

Postby ramon » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:25 pm

Hello Mike,

Here goes my experience from what I've gathered through the years. I'm far from being an expert in the area. I provide support and what I know is from what I hear editors say when providing support or training.

In Brazil researchers are usually keen to reviewing, since it brings status and recognizes their knowledge of a specific subject matter.
It is almost as if it were a regular attribution to review articles, so they don't really complain. This is, from my experience, a common practice worldwide.
No one complains of receiving an article to review. They usually like it, even though they may not say it. It is sometimes considered an honor, as they are providing their field with expert opinions, which can only enhance the quality of the work published.

Providing a clear text, geared to your audience is key to success. The only problem reviewers may have is lack of knowledge or interest in using a software online to do their work (old school) and they are always full of other activities, which may cause delay in responding.

I don't remember the specific e-mail, but you can either edit the locale files, in a text editor that saves as UTF-8, looking for the standard text that is provided in the subject or browse the E-mail section of the Journal Administration for that specific subject. Through OJS's interface you may edit the content of the standard text.

Regarding registration, it will depend on your journal configurations, and how you want to handle user registration. Some journals don't allow reviewer registration, doing this themselves. A small change in the code, that has been ported to OJS 2.2 is the ability to search authors for their reviewing interests, since they are your first list of possible reviewers.

I hope this long text helps....
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Re: Reviewer Requests - Best Practice

Postby asmecher » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:45 am

Hi Mike,

One way to avoid confusion with reviewers is to enable one-click reviewer access in Setup. When this is enabled, reviewer requests will contain URLs that include a one-time access key that allows them to perform the review without actually logging in. If for some reason they do want to get their username and password at a later date, i.e. if they want to sign up as an Author to submit a paper, they can use the password reset process (via the "Forgot your password?" link).

In this case, it's not necessary to send Reviewers the welcome email including their username and password; just assign a random password that will never be used and trust the one-click reviewer access to get the reviewer in.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team
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