Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 37.1 (2014) Pages: 101-105

Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Grossman, G. D.



I discuss current issues in reviewing and editorial practices in ecology and evolutionary biology and suggest possible solutions for current problems. The reviewing crisis is unlikely to change unless steps are taken by journals to provide greater inclusiveness and incentives to reviewers. In addition, both journals and institutions should reduce their emphasis on publication numbers (least publishable units) and impact factors and focus instead on article synthesis and quality which will require longer publications. Academic and research institutions should consider reviewing manuscripts and editorial positions an important part of a researcher’s professional activities and reward them accordingly. Rewarding reviewers either monetarily or via other incentives such as free journal subscriptions may encourage participation in the reviewing process for both profit and non–profit journals. Reviewer performance will likely be improved by measures that increase inclusiveness, such as sending reviews and decision letters to reviewers. Journals may be able to evaluate the efficacy of their reviewing process by comparing citations of rejected but subsequently published papers with those published within the journal at similar times. Finally, constructive reviews: 1) identify important shortcomings and suggest solutions when possible, 2) distinguish trivial from non–trivial problems, and 3) include editor’s evaluations of the reviews including identification of trivial versus substantive comments (i.e., those that must be addressed).


Publication process, Reviewing, Editorial, Editors


Grossman, G. D., 2014. Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 37: 101-105, DOI:



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