Step-by-Step Workflow

  1. Manuscript Assignment.
  2. Initial Evaluation.
  3. Finding & Assigning Reviewers.
  4. Decisions.
  5. Letters to the Editor.
  6. Appeals.

With the exception of transferred manuscripts with reviews, obtain at least 2 reviews before making your decision.

Ask for reviews from individuals who:

  • Have sufficient expertise in the manuscript’s research area.

  • Do not have any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

  • Can complete their review within the allotted 14 days.

Reviewers are expected to follow the guidelines in the ASM Reviewers portal.

Jump to:
Reviewing Editors Program

Searching for Reviewers in eJP Inviting Reviewers in eJP


Reviewing Editors Program

One of the two reviewers may be a member of our Board of Reviewing Editors. Our Reviewing Editor Program is a mentoring program designed to help early career microbiologists gain firsthand experience in acting as independent peer reviewers.

Reviewing Editors are committed to reviewing ~2 manuscripts per month for Microbiology Spectrum, a maximum of 24 manuscripts per year.

To search for a Reviewing Editor, you may click the “Search Spectrum Reviewing Editors only” box in either the Simple Search or Advanced Search tab and then provide at least one additional criterion.

Screen grab of simple search tab with the search Spectrum Reviewing Editors only checked.

In the search results, the designation “BOARD” will appear next to the Reviewing Editor’s name. Before selecting them for invitation, please check that (i) the number of completed reviews in the past 12 months is not 24 or greater and (ii) the Reviewing Editor is not working on a current active invitation.

Screen grab of reviewing editors selector pane.

As a courtesy to your fellow editors who may also be searching for reviewers, please invite only 1 Reviewing Editor at a time.

Searching for Reviewers in eJP

Enter any term or combination of terms (including subject terms, keywords, or institution names) in the boxes. When entering search terms, use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard character.

  • Suggested Reviewers to Include link: shows a list of the reviewers suggested by the author. Please only invite 1 of these individuals.

  • Search By Keyword link: looks for reviewers based on the keywords the author suggested.

  • Original MS Preferred Reviewers (for revisions only): available when you are handling a revised manuscript; allows you to select the same reviewers used for the initial submission.

Screen grab showing Simple Search tab with Quick Search Links highlighted.

Limit the search for a reviewer by typing in the organization, eepartment or country of the reviewer, or by entering keywords, search terms (any word that could be in a reviewer’s profile), or a turnaround time less than a selected number of days. When entering search terms, use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard character.

Screen grab of advanced search tab

Add Reviewer

If the search does not yield a desired potential reviewer, you may add a new reviewer account. Click on the “Add Reviewer” tab, type in the required information, and click the “Add Reviewer” button.

Screen grab highlighting Add Review tab

Reviewer List

After you have selected reviewers from the Search Results and/or Added a Reviewer, they will show up on the Reviewer List tab. At this point, no potential reviewers have been contacted.

The number chosen in the “Number of Reviewers to secure” dropdown menu tells the system how many reviews you need in order to proceed with a decision.

This number can be decreased in order to make a decision before all reviews are in. We do not recommend increasing this number above three, as this can result in more reviewers being assigned than are needed.

Screen grab highlighting Reviewer list

Inviting Reviewers in eJP

We highly recommend that you use the auto-contacting feature, which sends automated invitations to a list of selected potential reviewers.

1. Click the checkboxes beside the names of the first 2 reviewers you want to invite.

2. Make sure that the reviewers are numbered in the order in which you’d like them to be invited. You may change the number by selecting the dropdowns in the column labeled “order.”

3. Click Save/Invite, invitations will go to those selected reviewers.

4. If the reviewers decline, the system will automatically send an invitation letter to the next potential reviewer on the list.

Screen grab highlighting Reviewer list

The system will continue to automatically invite reviewers until either two reviewers have accepted or the list of potential reviewers has been exhausted.

Please let the system do its job! When you invite 15 to 20 reviewers at once, this creates a very confusing situation for reviewers, as more than 2 people may accept.

This causes a lot of “No response” reactions and uses up our reviewer pool unnecessarily. Please be mindful that our reviewers are volunteers. We do not want to email or disturb them unnecessarily.

Manuscripts stay in the "Contacting Potential Reviewers" folder until the desired number of reviewers have agreed. If there are no more Potential Reviewers on the list, the manuscript moves to the "Awaiting Reviewer Assignment" folder, and you will receive a notification requesting that additional reviewers be assigned to a manuscript.

Reviewer Accepts/Declines

You will be notified of reviewer accepts/declines via email.

Important: If a reviewer responds to you directly via email with an accept or reply, please double check that they have registered their response in the system. If not, they will receive an automated reminder from the system. In these situations, you can accept/decline on their behalf via the links in the Reviewer Status tab.

Screen grab with Reviewer status highlighted showing Accept or Decline links

Reviewer Reminders (Chasers)

After the initial invitation, the reviewer is sent 2 additional reminders by the system before marking them as unresponsive. You can see the number of contacts and the date in the Reviewer Status tab and the Emails tab of the manuscript.

Screen grab showing review reminders

If a reviewer accepts an invitation, they are sent automated reminders from the system, which you can see in the Emails tab of the manuscript. Chasers are sent on the following schedule:

  • 3 days before the review due date.

  • 1 day after the review due date.

After the first past-due reminder, the reviewer is sent 3 additional reminders. If a review is not received after the final chaser has been sent, you can choose to either send a manual chaser to the reviewer or invite a new reviewer. If you decide to invite another reviewer, please mark the late reviewer as "not needed" in the system first in the Reviewer Status tab.

Screen grab showing whether another reminder needs to be sent.