Reviewing a review paper - advice


Hi there

Does any one have any experience of reviewing a review paper? And if so do you have any advice?

It might seem like a dumb question, but I don't think there is a great deal of training or support on doing peer reviews (I've even come across a paper about this). I imagine it is something one gets better at with practice, but still there should be some guidance on it in my opinion. I've done one or two reviews, but not of actual review papers. Any advice on how to proceed?



Hi Tudor (from a sunny Kent coast),

I've reviewed a few papers. To be fair, I found a Peer Review checklist which I use as a guide - I review papers in two main fields, but I apply it to everything I review:

https: //


Amazing - thank you! I'll check this out later. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. Are you back on the tennis courts? :)


I just took a look and realised that checklist is for reviewing empirical papers. I am looking for a similar checklist that can be used for reviewing a theoretical/conceptual review paper. I'm googling and will share on here if any luck. Please let me know anybody if you have such a checklist! Cheers!


Hi Tudor,

Yes, started playing as soon as the government allowed for tennis to be played. It was under special measure at the club, but now it's almost back to normal. Was playing last night from 7 until 10pm. Back from Kent now - just had a mini break.

Did you find a suitable checklist? For review papers, they shouldn't just be a simple literature review or listing of papers, but rather highlight developments in the area, particularly impactful ones.


That's great. I love hearing about how things are almost back to normal now. I have been quite cautious and so it was a big deal the other day when I went out for a meal - first time since Jan/Feb time. It was great!

I didn't find any checklist for a review paper. I am thinking I will probably develop my own now that I have done this review.

I did find the following links useful in addition to the one you recommended:

The second link was really useful as it had different researchers sharing their experiences about how long they usually take, any strategies they use, etc.

I think it is good that multiple reviewers are invited, as there were a couple of things (not vital or pertaining to inaccuracies) I didn't bother suggesting as I felt I'd made enough comments. I thought oh well, maybe another reviewer or the editor will suggest them if they think they are important...


I've been cautious too. Pretty much only going for walks in the local park, food shopping and tennis.

However, that said, I've thrown caution into the wind and started taking advantage of the governments "Eat out to Pig out" aherm, I mean "help out" scheme.

Thanks for the links.