You are Part of the Solution, Fixing the Problems with Paper Reviewing

We created the ISI Paper Review System because of problems we saw in how most journals review submissions.

Problem: Slow and Tardy Replies. Have you ever submitted a paper to a journal, and didn’t hear about the review for the better part of a year or even longer? We have.

Problem: Feedback Isn’t Helpful. Have you ever received a decision letter that left you wondering how to proceed? Perhaps that decision letter contained contradictory or irrational guidance. We have.

We designed the paper review system for ISI journals to overcome these and many other problems in the typical journal peer review process. Instead of the old production model (reject defects), we at ISI journals use a continual process improvement model. While fewer than half of the papers submitted make it into print, we view our role as mentor to all authors, sharing with them our wisdom and the wisdom of our reviewers, to assist them in improving their submission. Most papers that we do publish undergo several rounds of revisions.

We also designed the system to avoid the problem of delayed reviewing of manuscripts. We endeavor to get back to authors with our initial assessment within two months of their submission. To do this, we have abandoned the model of asking Reviewers to accept assignments. Reviewers are expected to review papers assigned to their care. (See below for how to set periods of non-availability.)

You, as an ISI Reviewer, are vital to this improved way to review submissions. This manual gets us all on the same page by informing you about the ISI philosophy of the paper review process and sharing with you how to use the automated ISI Paper Review system to do your part.