Guidance for reviewers of the EPRG working paper series

We thank you for agreeing to act as a reviewer for the EPRG working paper series. Reviewing an EPRG working paper should involve considerably less work than refereeing a manuscript for a journal and is not meant to be an onerous task and, on average, should take no more than 1-2 hours of your time to complete.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that the working paper is acceptable as a publication of EPRG; it does not require you provide comments to sufficient level of detail that it should immediately be accepted by a journal. The aim, therefore, is that you should be able to submit your review within one week – and that short deadline should indicate that we are not requesting a detailed critical assessment, but a swift quality check to make sure that acceptable papers can be published on line rapidly. The vast majority of working papers will go on to be submitted to leading journals and go through a full editorial process. Many working papers will already have been reviewed by one or more colleagues. We therefore do not seek to reproduce a journal’s editorial process – our task for the working paper series is instead to facilitate the writing and speedy dissemination of the papers.

The first task of the referee is to quickly check that text and figures are clear. The paper should have been proofread, the language is standard English, and the diagrams clearly read in black and white and are easily understandable (this can be indicated in the report and is not necessarily a bar to further reading). Normally, we will have a quick review ourselves, but if you do not feel the draft paper is sufficiently intelligible then please do not hesitate to return the paper immediately with a list of things to correct – eg proofread and spellcheck; find a copy editor who can turn it into English, etc.

If the paper passes the first test, then we ask you to quickly read through the paper and determine whether:

  1. the core idea(s), method, analysis and results are clearly presented
  2. the logic and organisation of the paper make sense
  3. the paper provides a useful contribution to the literature in this area

If the paper meets this standard of acceptability, even if it could be considerably improved, then you should not hesitate to return your review saying so. If you wish to provide more elaborate suggestions, feel free to do so, provided it does not delay the receipt of your review. If you think it meets the standard of acceptability but could be improved and wanted to send comments at a later date, then the paper can be published on our website based on your first confirmation and subsequently revised, with an indication that further comments have been sent to the author and taken into account in the revision.

If you cannot turn the paper around within one week, please let the editor know immediately – if you can manage it within 2-3 weeks, the editor may agree to accept a slight delay, otherwise we can move on to the next referee and we hope that we might be able to call on you at a future date when you have better availability.

Thanks for your continued support for the EPRG working paper series.