Today, in 1665, the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published, but it wasn’t until the 1830s that we became one of the first organisations to use a system of refereeing for papers under consideration for publication in the journal. Whilst the review process continually evolves in response to the needs of the scientific community it serves, it remains fundamental to high quality scholarly publishing. As such, our birthday seems a perfect time to recognise and thank our reviewers.


Recognising reviewers

Researchers have told us that their main reasons for reviewing are to play their part as a member of the academic community, and to reciprocate the benefit gained when others review their papers. They also tell us that they value recognition.  As a publisher, we are happy to recognise the efforts of our reviewers in several ways. Each year our journals publish annual articles listing reviewers (who have opted to be included). This modern twist on the traditional approach is to provide a citable DOI, which helps researchers to receive recognition for their work as a genuine research output. Our journals are integrated with the Publons peer review recognition service. This means our reviewers have the opportunity during the peer review process to easily opt into receiving recognition. Furthermore, it is really easy from Publons to add this recognition to your ORCID profile.

We also strive to make reviewing for us a rewarding experience in a number of other ways:
• We minimise any time wasted by filtering low quality papers at editorial triage
• We take measures to improve the matching of an article with the right reviewer
• We are simplifying the reviewer forms in the light of your feedback
• We are always developing guidance and resources for reviewers (and are always keen to know how we could do more.)


2019 reviewer articles
Biology Letters
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Open Biology
Proceedings of the Royal Society A
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Royal Society Open Science

Thanks again to all those reviewers who have worked so tirelessly for us throughout the year. And a Happy 354th Birthday to Royal Society Publishing.


Review for us

Find out more about the benefits of reviewing for the Royal Society and if you would like to be added to our international pool of reviewers, please contact us at


Image credit – Professor Christopher Martin from the University of North Carolina, top reviewer for Proceedings B in 2017.

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