5.6 Acting as a peer reviewer

Appropriate conduct during peer review
  1. The assessment procedures used by the Research Councils, major charities, and Government Departments are based extensively on peer and merit review, combining as necessary the views of expert referees and of committees or panels, whose members have been drawn from the academic and other user communities.
  2. Individuals agreeing to contribute to the peer review process for external organisations must observe the following rules:
    1. All the information made available to a researcher as a peer reviewer must be treated in the strictest confidence;
    2. Peer review must be undertaken in line with the regulations of the body making the request;
    3. Reviewers must not take advantage of any information obtained as a result of their role; in particular they must not pirate unfunded proposals;
    4. Reviewers must declare any conflicts of interest and, normally, decline an invitation to review, or withdraw from the relevant discussion(s): anyone with close professional, personal or commercial interest in a piece of work, or a member of the same University department as the applicant(s), is ineligible to comment;
    5. If reviewers consider themselves to be insufficiently expert in the area of research on which they have been asked to comment, they must make this clear; in such circumstances, they should return the work they have been asked to judge; and
    6. If reviewers are unable to respond to the request within the timescale indicated, they should immediately inform the person or organisation making the request and agree whether an extension is possible or if they should decline the request.
  3. If the peer review guidance provided by the research funder or other organisation differs in detail from the rules in para 5.6.2 (above), the individual should adhere to the guidance provided by the organisation.
  4. If you are asked to peer-review internally, such as during the development of applications for research funding, you must consider yourself bound by the above guidance, with the exception that members of the same University department as the applicant are not barred from providing internal review, although it is recommended that some reviewers come from different departments to the applicant.

Share this page:

Who to contact

Research Support Services Contact details

Tel - (0116) 252 2437 or (0116) 229 7763

Fax - (0116) 252 2028

E mail - RED@le.ac.uk