Accepting a paper to review
This stage is when you get an invitation to review and you have to accept or decline it. Don’t accept a paper if it does not belong to your field of expertise. When you accept a paper out of your scope, most probably, your judgment will not be fair. Besides, you will spend longer time to understand and review. Accepting a paper out of your scope will lead to delay in the review process also.If you have a conflict of interest with one of the authors, never even accept this paper to review. This may also harm your reputation in the future if the editor knows that without informing him.If you don’t have time, don’t waste others’ time also. If you feel that you cannot finish the paper within one month, decline the review.
Reviewing a paper
Don’t start your review when you are not in a good mood.Be responsible and do it in time. Don’t differ your review until you get many notifications from the journal. As far as you accept the invitation, it is your responsibility, put it on your agenda and do it.Try to write in a simple and clear English. Don’t make it too complicated.Be open to new ideas and don’t try to take the author to what you want. As a reviewer, you have to have a vision. Some papers are really breakthrough in the field even they are not long, or they don’t have complicated and colorful graphs. Also, think about the impact of the paper in the field. Some papers are establishing new directions of research.
Submitting a reviewThink twice when you filled the review form and about to choose your decision before submission. This is a very critical moment. Be careful, even when you give positive feedback but you decide to reject, this may lead to rejection. In fact, some editors are reading the comments carefully and don’t consider that decision as the main point. However, still, this is very important.