A quarterly journal of The Paleontological Society

Paleobiology: Instructions to Reviewers

Click here to download a printable Acrobat PDF version of this document.


Reviewer Instructions 

Review Process

The manuscript submission and peer review process is broken down into the following 7 steps:

  1. The Author submits a manuscript.
  2. The Editor assigns an Associate Editor to the manuscript.
  3. The Associate Editor assigns Reviewers to the manuscript.
  4. The Reviewers review the manuscript.
  5. The Associate Editor requests a revision from the author and/or makes a recommendation.
  6. The Editor makes the final decision.
  7. The Author is contacted with the decision.

As a Reviewer, you are responsible for step #4.

Review Manuscript

After logging into, press on a manuscript link preceded by a red arrow and you will be presented with a "Manuscript" screen as described above. At the bottom of this screen under "Manuscript Tasks" will be displayed a "Review Manuscript" link. Clicking on this link will display the "Review Manuscript" Screen. This screen is broken into 5 parts as follows:

  1. Manuscript background information
  2. A review form
  3. Remarks to the author
  4. Remarks to the editor
  5. Your recommendation

It is required that you fill out the simple interactive review form online. If you have Acrobat 5, using the text or notes tools it may be possible for you to make line edits to the manuscript, or comments, directly to the file you download to your computer. Another option, you may find it quicker to download and print the PDF file of the manuscript, draft your review remarks in letter format using your favorite word processor, and cut/paste it back into the reviewer comments text areas on this screen.

There are two additional elements in your review that are important to us. First, you must be fair, dispassionate and impartial in your evaluation. Second, your review must be timely (we are making a strong effort to get reviews turned around in four weeks). Deadline

The biggest logjam for manuscripts submitted to Paleobiology oftentimes is the amount of time manuscripts are with reviewers. In order to achieve our goal of “90 days from receipt to decision,” we request that you return your review within 3 to 4 weeks. 


1. Go to Edit, Preferences, Commenting and uncheck “Always use Log-in Name for Author name.”

2. Create a new comment, right-click on it to bring up the Sticky Note Properties, click on the General tab and UNCHECKED the locked option. Then change your name in the General tab (for example Reviewer 1).

3.  Before you close the dialog box, hit the “Make Properties Default” checkbox at the bottom so the new name appears in the following comments


Click here to download a printable Acrobat PDF version of this document.