Instructions for Reviewers | sciencematters

Instructions for Reviewers

Basic information:

  • When a manuscript is submitted to Matters, the Editorial Team of Matters selects a Handling Editor (HE) for the manuscript as well as suggestions for reviewers. The HE checks the suitability of the reviewers and upon agreement sends out the reviewer invitation. The triple blindness is assured by the fact that the HE will not know which of the reviewers finally review the manuscript.  
  • Once the HE considers you as suitable to review the manuscript, you will receive an automated E-mail with an invitation link. You’ll have to click on this link, to view the abstract and to accept or decline to review the manuscript. As a reviewer, you are not required to register on our homepage, but of course you are welcome to do so. For this, please visit

For registration, please provide a username and choose a password. You can also register via your ORCID, LinkedIn or Facebook login. Please fill in all the details and give only correct information. Providing incorrect information about you could forfeit your registration. Also, we prefer if you use an institution-affiliated email and not one at gmail or 

  • Once you click on the invitation link, you will be redirected to the manuscript. Please read the abstract and accept the terms and conditions (No conflicts of interest) in order to view the entire document. Then choose whether you want to review the manuscript or not. Once you accept our invitation, please choose whether you want to claim your reward (25 US$ per manuscript) or not. You also have the option to support ScienceMatters with a donation of this reward - it will go towards supporting publications from authors in developing countries. If you would like to receive remuneration, please provide all the necessary bank details in the corresponding fields. Please note that you’ll be remunerated only once for a manuscript, even though you might be asked to check it twice (see below). Also, we can only make a bundle payment (once you have reviewed 4 or more articles) and we make the payment twice a year.
  • Remember that Matters publishes single observations, not full stories. Hence, as you read the manuscript carefully, please pay particular attention to the following criteria: Technical quality, Originality and Impact. All observations which are technically well done will be published at Matters (a score of 4 or above on a scale of 0-10, on the Technical quality). Outstanding observations, which have a score of above 8 in all categories or a total average score of 24/30 have the chance of getting published at Matters Select. A score of 0-3 indicates that it is not suitable for publication at Matters and will be rejected.
  • As you score the submission, please also provide your comments on the following categories of the manuscript: Metadata, Title, Abstract, Figure, Introduction, Objective, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Limitations,  Conjectures,  Methods,  References. As soon as you provide a comment for one of those categories, it will disappear from the header box with the check OK. These comments are invaluable to the HE in making a decision while comparing two differing reviews.
  • Please note that you can choose between MUST HAVE changes and COULD HAVE changes - please weigh the importance of your criticism using this feature. This emphasis also helps the HE to take a decision and assess the revised version of the manuscript. 
  • Please make sure to provide well-justified comments, based on facts and avoid providing scores only, without justification expressed in words. Such reviews are neither useful to the HE, nor to the author. Please adhere to constructive and respectful language. 
  • Please make sure, your identity is not revealed through your comments and do not request excessively the citation of your own work. 
  • Please note that the HE requires at least two independent reviews to take a decision in the first round. Should the two reviewers provide divergent assessments and scorings for a manuscript, the HE may invite a third reviewer to assess the submission. In the case of three useful, independent reviews, please note that the HE will rely on the median score for technical quality for his decision on the manuscript. 
  • Once you’ve submitted your review, the HE will take a first decision (pre-acceptance) based on the two reviews received. He will then forward your comments to the authors, with the option to revise the manuscript and to respond to the reviewers' comments. The HE retains the right to decide on the outcome of the publication, even if it might be different from your assessment of the manuscript. 
  • Once the authors resubmit their revised version, the HE can decide whether she/he wishes the reviewers to assess the revision a second time. If so, the manuscript will be sent to you once more and you’ll be able to see how the authors responded to your comments. 
  • In case you need support contact us at