Review Purgatory …help!!!



Its December and its snowing in our inboxes! My colleagues and I are inundated with journal article review requests as editors presumably  try to clear their desks of submissions before year end.

First comes the invitation to review, then comes the reminder of the invitation. After accepting the assignment then comes the instructions, and then comes the automatically generated password to access the review site and if we are a bit slow off the mark then comes the reminder to review, its all happening weekly now. About the time of the reminder email we scurry off to our inbox to find the previous review invitation emails that contained the instructions and password, hoping that the password hasn’t expired or that the email registered to the reviewing engine was an old one.
Its a needle in the haystack of our days jobs emails and the various SPAM that isn’t quite SPAM we enjoy daily from professional bodies (and hopefully) near and far. And here is where the challenge lies…even with the magic of the google algorithm (for those lucky enough to be using a google mail service) or an apple spotlight search its almost impossible to find the correspondence by key word, and the proliferation of Journals with similar names isn’t helping one bit 😦
Another strategy is to look for the sender by name, but with many invitations coming from generic emails, or being handed from associate editor to associate editor thats a tough one too! You see I have this good friend called noreply, he (or she, I’m still not sure) emails me from many domains from all over the world getting things done in that personal (yet impersonal) way thats brings so much joy to my life.
Lately I have just been waiting for the reminder email and then actioning the review on the spot, sometimes I’m (un)lucky enough that the review period has expired and I’m let off the hook, though vaguely unsatisfied with myself.
I’ve been trying to filter my mail as it comes in for reviews and thats helping , but I am yet to find a systematic way to get through the reviews reliably and in time.
Anyways its almost the end of the week I have a sneaking suspicion there are two papers I need to review (fortunately the 3rd one expired) and I better find them by the weeks end….any ideas out there?

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