Guidelines on How to Referee

12 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2010 Last revised: 5 Jan 2015

See all articles by Thom Brooks

Thom Brooks

Durham University - Law School

Date Written: December 2, 2010


This essay offers clear practical advice on how to act as a referee when asked to review an article for an academic journal. The advice is also relevant for reviewing manuscript proposals for academic publishers. My advice is based on my experiences in editing an academic journal, the Journal of Moral Philosophy, and four book series. I will draw on these experiences throughout as illustrations. The structure of the advice is as follows. First, I will begin by saying a few words about the academic publishing industry. Secondly, I will discuss whether one should accept or decline an invitation to review. Thirdly, I will examine the question of what appropriate standard should be applied when reviewing submissions. Finally, I conclude with advice on how to draft a report before submitting it to an editor.

Keywords: publishing, publishing advice, referee, refereeing, refereeing advice, manuscript, review, journal, journals, articles, Brooks

JEL Classification: A00, K00

Suggested Citation

Brooks, Thom, Guidelines on How to Referee (December 2, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Thom Brooks (Contact Author)

Durham University - Law School ( email )

Durham Law School
Durham University
Durham, County Durham DH1 3ET
United Kingdom
+441913344365 (Phone)


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