1. Make sure you have the right expertise in terms of subject, methodology etc. If you are not sure, approach the assigned editor.
  2. Read the guidance for both contributors and reviewers  and About the journal.
  3. Check the manuscript fits the focus and format of the journal.
  4. Skim the paper very quickly to get a general sense of it. Underline key words and points, and summarise key points. This will help you quickly “tune in” to the paper during the next read.
  5. Read the manuscript critically and reflexively – first as someone who knows something about the subject or methodology and secondly as someone who might be new to this material. Ask yourself key questions, including: Does it have a relevant title and valuable focus? Are key papers relevant to this subject and methodology referenced? Is the material presented coherent with the writing style? What’s new about it? Why does that matter? Is there gender or cultural bias etc? Is a critique of power relations present? Are there other considerations such as ethical issues?
  6. Make notes about any major, moderate and minor revisions that need to be made.
  7. Create a list of things to check. For example, do the references actually connect well enough to what is claimed in the paper?
  8. Assess language and grammar, and make sure it’s a right “fit” for the journal and relational ethics. Does the paper flow – does it have connectivity? Does it have clarity – are the words and structure concise and effective?
  9. Check previous publications of the authors/artists and of other authors in the field to be sure that this work has not been published before. Are there unaccounted for shifts in styles which could point to plagiarism?
  10. Summarise your notes for the editor (overview, contribution, strengths and weaknesses, acceptability). Prioritise and collate the major revisions and minor/specific revisions into feedback. Try to compile this in a logical way, grouping similar things under a common heading where possible, and numbering them for ease of reference. If you think it is unsuitable for this journal, please say so clearly.
  11. Give specific recommendations for changes in the manuscript that the contributors can address. In total, you should be looking at a review that’s around one to three pages (four maximum) in length.
  12. Follow the procedures for submitting your review online.