Reviewers evaluate article submissions to journals based on the requirements of that journal, predefined criteria, and the quality, completeness and accuracy of the research presented. They provide feedback on the paper, suggest improvements and make a recommendation to the editor about whether to accept, reject or request changes to the article. The ultimate decision always rests with the editor but reviewers play a significant role in determining the outcome.
- ensure the rigorous standards of the scientific process by taking part in the peer-review system.
- uphold the integrity of the journal by identifying invalid research, and helping to maintain the quality of the journal.
- fulfil a sense of obligation to the community and their own area of research.
- establish relationships with reputable colleagues and their affiliated journals, and increase their opportunities to join an Editorial Board.
- can help prevent ethical breaches by identifying plagiarism, research fraud and other problems by dint of their familiarity with the subject area.
- reciprocate professional courtesy, as authors and reviewers are often interchangeable roles – as reviewer, researchers "repay" the same consideration they receive as authors.