Instructions for Referees

The BJPS operates a triple-anonymised peer review system. If you know or think you know who the author is, please email the editorial office at Do not indicate or speculate about the author’s identity anywhere in your report.

In the experience of the Editors, speculation about the identity of an author often goes wrong. Thus, if you have what amounts to no more than a strong suspicion concerning the author’s identity, the Editors will ask that you continue to act as a referee unless you judge that your suspicion itself causes a conflict of interest.

Comments to the Editor

Please enter any comments you have about your recommendation in the Comments to the Editors box

  • If you have them, any comments about your recommendation should go here (and not in the Comments to the Author box)

  • These comments will not be shared with the author(s)

When considering your recommendation, these are the five key questions about which we would welcome your opinion


Is this likely to be interesting to philosophers of science?


Is this an original contribution to the literature?


Is this an important contribution to the literature?


Is this a highly competent contribution, namely, well researched and demonstrating sufficient mastery of the material discussed and the techniques employed?


Is it a sufficiently scholarly contribution, informed by the existing literature, including work that because of its author’s demographic or professional profile might be unfairly overlooked?

If your recommendation is that the paper ought to be accepted or rejected, please let us know your reasons

‘‘This paper looks good to me—accept!’’

  • Not Helpful

‘This paper makes an original and important contribution to a live debate—accept!’

  • Helpful

Comments to the Author

  • Please do not report your recommendation (publish, reject, major or minor revisions) here; indicate this only in the Comments to the Editors box

  • Please do not sign your report or otherwise reveal your identity

  • Please do not submit annotated pdfs or upload your comments as a pdf file (special characters are available at the top of the text box, but feel free to use LaTeX code if preferred)

If your recommendation is major/minor revisions, please give a clear indication of what improvements you would like to see

‘Section 5 is underdeveloped.’

  • Not Helpful

‘Section 5 is underdeveloped in the following way…’

  • Helpful!

Please discuss the paper and not the author; avoid derisive and insulting comments

‘The author argues…’

  • Not Helpful

‘The paper argues…’

  • Helpful!

‘The author does not seem to be aware of…’

  • Not Helpful

‘The paper should engage with…’

  • Helpful!

More information on how to write useful referee reports can be found here

The Editors are grateful for the work of our referees and we hope these instructions are helpful

If you have any queries, please email the editorial office