Guidelines for reviewers

Note: This version 1 is applicable since 28/10/2017. This version 1 was approved by the Board of Directors on 28/10/2017. It was approved by the General Assembly on 15/12/2017. Previous version.

Publishing research articles on climate that are both of high quality and accessible to a broad audience is not only our goal, but an inspiring challenge for everyone in Climanosco’s community. To walk together towards this goal, we take all manuscripts through an extended peer review with a defined set of criteria.

Our reviewers are invaluable. Their role is to bring a fresh and independent perspective to the manuscripts and help authors and editors identify where there is room for improvement. They, together with our authors, are pioneers who progressively and rigorously forge the pathways making climate science accessible to everyone.

Here are a few guidelines to help our reviewers in this endeavor.

Be confident

Providing feedback to the author of a scientific article might not be the kind of thing you do everyday. Yet, it is exactly your outside perspective that is essential in creating accessible science.

Think of the manuscript as a new landscape you are discovering. It might take a few rounds of exploration before you begin to know your way around – please don’t worry if you don’t understand everything you initially read. It’s your job to help the authors provide an accessible path through this landscape for other readers.

See if you can readily identify the overall picture. Ask yourself: What are the highest mountains? In other words: What are the main elements of the manuscript? These should be readily identifiable and easy to understand. Take note of what you don’t you understand about these main elements.

Take another look at the manuscript and note everything you do not understand: paragraphs, sentences or specific words.

Finally, take some distance and think about how the main elements are brought together into a narrative. Is there anything missing for you to understand the story as a whole? Is there anything that could be removed to ease your understanding of the story?

You might want to use the following structure as a guideline:

  1. What I understand are the main elements of the manuscript
  2. What I don’t understand about these main elements
  3. What is missing for me to understand the story
  4. What could be removed to ease my understanding of the story
  5. Paragraphs, sentences and words that I don’t understand

Be supportive

Authors may not be used to writing articles for a broad audience. It may be difficult for them to identify what may be of particular relevance and what may not be readily understandable for the general public. Use your review report to support them in their effort. They are pioneers just like you.

The best way to phrase your review report is to write from your own perspective, openly and candidly, sharing what you understand, what you don’t understand and what you feel is missing or may be left out. Do not include general opinions or overall judgements.

Of course, please adhere to basic rules of conduct. Use an appropriate, non-aggressive and non-overly critical tone, and refrain from making personal criticism.

Keep an eye on the rules

A manuscript must be self-contained and is limited to 2500 words (approximately 5 pages). For introductory articles, we strongly recommend a maximum of 1500 words (approximately 3 pages). Read the introduction to our research articles.

Read the set of criteria before you start. You will be asked to rate these criteria using the folllowing scale: poor (1), fair (2), good (3), excellent (4).

Make sure to comply with the Privacy Policy and Copyrights. In particular, note that all data related to the peer review is permanently archived and available to members, and shall not be shared outside the community of members without the prior written consent by the author(s). Note also that unless you choose to remain anonymous, your name as reviewer will appear on the manuscript in the members area but will not be visible in the public area.

Check that you comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy. If you feel that you are unable to give an independent and unbiased opinion on the manuscript, please contact the editor in charge.

If you are providing a science review

Your job is to make sure that the manuscript is consistent with the current state-of-the-art in published scientific research.

The main content of the manuscript must rely on published scientific work and scientific references must be appropriately cited in the text.

If you are reviewing a single source article, note that the manuscript must limit itself to the boundaries of the original scientific article.

Do not expect the manuscript to look like a regular scientific article. Climanosco’s articles are meant for a broad audience. They may be introductory, give an overview of a field or offer a specific focus on a topic. The emphasis and narrative should be adapted such that they make the topic accessible and inspiring to the general public.

As a science reviewer you will not be asked to rate the manuscript on its accessibility to a broad audience. While you are welcome to offer your view on this aspect, note that the manuscript is also reviewed by accessibility reviewers who will specifically evaluate its accessibility (see peer review criteria).

For more details have a look at the peer review process and the Terms and Conditions for the Submission and Revision of a Manuscript.

Filing the review report online

You can find a link to the online form in the editor’s email or directly on the manuscript page of the web site.

The review form has the following fields:

Title: Anything will do (for instance: “Review Report”).
Identification of Review Report: If you have not been assigned this review, please select “Spontaneous Review”.
Ratings and Recommendations: Select your ratings and recommendations.
Review Report: Place your review text here.
Geographical Sectors and Subject Areas: Check all Geographical Sectors and Subject Areas covered by the manuscript, and if necessary propose new ones. This is only required for assigned reviewers.
Anonymous Review Report: Check this box to submit your report anonymously (not recommended for transparency reasons).


If you encounter any problem or need any clarification contact the team at: