How to Become a Reviewer

One question that ACS editors and staff are asked regularly is, “How do I become a reviewer?”

We love being asked this question, because great reviewers are just as important to the publication of reproducible, relevant research as great authors are.

In order to be selected as a reviewer, you should:

  • Have broad knowledge and understanding of the field.
  • Have technical expertise so you can evaluate experiments, data, and interpretation of data.
  • Be able to offer constructive, fair, and unbiased opinions.

What can I do to qualify as an expert?

  • Publish high-quality work in reputable journals.
  • Network and attend conferences to enhance your standing within the scientific community.

If this sounds like a lot to accomplish, don’t worry. It takes time to establish a reputation as an expert.

What else can I do to increase my likelihood of being selected as a reviewer?

  • Ask colleagues and advisors with whom you don’t have a conflict of interest to suggest you as a reviewer when they submit their manuscripts.
  • Contact the editorial office of the journal and provide your CV and publication record. If an ACS journal has a managing editor, they will be your first point of contact. Some ACS journals even have a form specifically for indicating your interest and areas of expertise.
  • If and when you are invited to review, be sure to respond to the request, even if you do not have time to review.

Once you’ve made it through the process of becoming a reviewer, you’ll need to provide a timely, thoughtful, and thorough review. In a future post, we’ll discuss what makes a good review.