Once you receive an invitation to review a colleague’s manuscript, ensure that colleagues send you a copy of what is to be reviewed so that you can decide whether you can meet the required expectations. Ensure you give feedback immediately to prevent delays. Also, to avoid controversies, ensure you pronounce the conflict of interest before you begin the review.

Format of literature review report

When reviewing a colleague’s manuscript, you should consider the review report structure and format as not all reviews have the same structure. When reviewing a research paper, it is what to consider as some have formal while others have informal structures.

In formal structures, you may be asked to focus on certain questions in the review using a questionnaire. Also, you may be asked to rate the manuscript in light of some qualities using a tally. But in informal structure, there are no precise criteria when reviewing a paper. Therefore, you should have in mind how the structure of other reviews looks so that you may choose the best one suitable for the review.

Guidelines on the structure you are supposed to use

  • Read through the article

After receiving the article, you want to review and skim through it to get some insights into its goals and conclusions. It will also assist you in making recommendations for feedback on whiter you will review the work or not.

  • Read through the requirements

Go through what to consider when reviewing a research paper. When you are reviewing a manuscript of a colleague, look at the originality of the topic, the main question focused by the research, the consistency of the conclusions, or even whether the article has illustrations such as figures and even tables.

  • Seeing the major possible errors

Try to read through your review to spot the major errors as early as possible. Some errors that may occur when reviewing a paper may include making conclusions that contradict what the authors say, using the wrong method, and even using wrong information when your present data is not clear.

  • Finishing the initial Reading

After you have finished reading, use the notes you wrote to sketch the beginning two paragraphs. The first paragraph should focus on the question that the research tends to tackle. Do a summary of the goals, approaches, and judgments to help the editor put the review in context and judge you. It will also help the editor know the key messages that will attract the readers’ attention.

In the second paragraph, ensure that the methods used are applicable and the data used should support the conclusions. Thereafter, you will be able to know whether the review is publishable or not.

  • Reading for the second time

In the second reading, ensure that the language used is correct and arguments are well presented. Identify where there is an error, especially on the arguments, to see an invalid argument. Also, check whether the title you’ve chosen portrays what is in the review.

  • The style of presentation

When presenting your review, ensure that you are polite and the work is not biased. Be objective as well as being constructive. The way you treat the author’s work should also be how you want yours to be treated. Your review should focus much on the research paper and not the person who authored it.

  • Giving recommendations

After reviewing a paper, you may be required to give recommendations. If you reject the review, give the reasons why you did it, and also, if there is a place that requires improvement, then state it. When you decide to reject it, give polite criticism and focus on the research and not the author. Also, do not make critical confidential comments to the author.


This guide is good, especially when reviewing a manuscript of a colleague. The article gives details on what to consider when revising a research paper, the report structure, and the literature review report format.

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