Directions for New Reviewers
To register as an AOM reviewer, follow the links below. To create an account, click on "Create An Account" in the top navigation.
General Reviewing Advice
- Be Constructive: Don't just point out problems, also point out solutions. Reviewers should be like "lifeguards"- trying to save the current manuscript, or at least the next project in the stream of research.
- Be Concise: Try not to cover the same ground in multiple comments; consolidate your coverage of a given theme in a single point.
- Be Polite and Conversational: Be "author friendly" in your tone, and use terms like "you" instead of "the authors."
- Identify Some Strengths: Open your review with what you liked, before focusing the bulk of your review on your criticisms and concerns.
- Don't Be "Two-Faced": Don't send a different message in your Comments to the Author than you do in your Comments to the Editor, or than you do on the Reviewer Evaluation Form. Doing so puts the action editor in the awkward position of rejecting a paper that—seemingly—has positive reviews.
- Non-English Native Authors: You will sometimes be asked to review submissions from authors whose native language is not English. In those cases, distinguish between the quality of the writing and the quality of the ideas that the writing conveys. Those ideas may be good, even if they are not expressed well.
- Be On Time: AOM prides itself on cycle time. It is important to return your review on time so that the action editor can guarantee the authors a quick turnaround. The average time taken to return reviews is a key factor in making decisions about the editorial review board (as is the percentage of review requests that are accepted rather than declined).
Comments to Authors
- Maintain a polite, professional, and constructive tone.
- Try to make your revisions developmental. We are trying to develop authors as well as evaluate their work. We would not want to lose someone who might subsequently contribute greatly to management learning and education research, but was dissuaded by a caustic or overly critical review process as they are beginning to learn to conduct research in this area.
- Be open to considering various types of potential contributions for Research and Reviews manuscripts. Papers can make theoretical, empirical, and/or practical contributions. Regardless of the nature of the contribution, papers should make connections with prior published research. If the work is empirical, then full information regarding statistical tests and effect sizes should be reported. For more detail on effect sizes, please review the revised guide for submitters.
- Essays are different from research and review articles and therefore should be reviewed differently. Essays are to be strongly argued, provocative critical commentaries or critiques relevant to management education and learning. As such, theoretical contributions are unnecessary for essays, but arguments should be sound, logically coherent, and well-supported.
- Be consistent. One of the worst things a reviewer can do is pile praise upon the authors and then recommend that the action editor reject the manuscript. Such reviews place the action editor in the very awkward position of having to reject articles despite seemingly positive reviews that are not, in reality, positive. Please ensure that your comments to the authors are consistent with any comments that you provide for the editor.
- Do not give an editorial opinion about publication in your comments to the authors (e.g., "this is a fine paper that should definitely be published"). Reviewers often disagree about the bottom-line decision. The Editor must weigh all considerations voiced and then write an editorial decision.
- Separate and number your comments, rather than writing them in straight narrative style. Then in communicating with authors, the editor can say things like "pay particular attention to points 2 and 5 raised by Reviewer #9999”.
- Cite page numbers and line numbers when referring to specific sections of the manuscript.
- There is no clearly preferred strategy for organizing comments to the authors. Some reviewers organize their comments in terms of the rating dimensions. Others address points sequentially, as they appear in the paper. Still others organize their comments by importance: most critical concerns first, followed by relatively minor points. Use the approach that best suits you.
Tips for Developmental Reviewing
- Instead of focusing only on shortcomings, the developmental reviewer takes the role of an informed reader who encourages authors and helps them take their work to the next level. The reviewer moves from the role of critical gatekeeper to colleague.
- Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with the author. Picture the author as a colleague who asked you to review her paper. You would point out the paper's shortcomings but would also take the next step in providing ideas for how she could address them as she moves forward with her work.
- You would try to find the hidden gems in her work, even if they are buried in the manuscript. You would listen to her and try to understand her perspective, even if you hold different views or approaches.
- Instead of giving advice, you may pose questions that help her develop her ideas and recognize potential boundary conditions or assumptions in her work.
- Please use the PDF copy of the manuscript to complete your review.
- To access it, click on your "Reviewer Center" link and then click on the "View Details" button.
- Click on the PDF icon to download a copy of the manuscript.
- Under Comments to the Author, paste or write your review into the Comments for Authors text box.