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Reviewer Information

To establish and maintain the level of excellence of a journal it is necessary that submitted papers be critically read by someone who can judge the correctness, originality, and significance of the work. The closer the assigning editor can match the topic of the paper to the reviewer's expertise, the more likely we will be able to render a fair decision on the publication of the paper. 

Reviewing a paper on a topic related to your area of expertise is a valuable contribution to the advancement of the field. Participating in the peer review process is also a way to stay informed about emerging scientific advances. SPIE welcomes new reviewers and appreciates the contributions of all who volunteer their time and expertise to review submissions to our journals. 

Responsibilities of Reviewers

The anonymous evaluation of a technical paper should follow some generally accepted professional guidelines, and it places the reviewer under certain obligations to the author and the journal.

Before accepting a review assignment, reviewers should disclose conflicts of interest resulting from direct competitive, collaborative, or other relationships with any of the authors, and avoid cases in which such conflicts preclude an objective evaluation. If you are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest, you should seek advice from the journal.  

If you are unable to review a manuscript, you should decline the invitation promptly and you are encouraged to provide suggestions of other potential reviewers who would be qualified to examine the manuscript.

Reviewers should be aware that SPIE permits manuscripts based partly or entirely on scientific content previously reported in SPIE proceedings to be submitted to SPIE journals. For more information, please read our full policy on submission of conference proceedings papers to SPIE journals. Questions about this policy may be directed to the editorial office at journals@spie.org.

Reviewers are also encouraged to refer to the following resources:

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer ReviewersOpens PDF

This is a list of basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), of which SPIE is a member.

Checklist for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors

This is a checklist to aid in the technical evaluation and preparation of journal papers. It guides reviewers and authors alike through a list of questions that will help them determine the novelty, significance, accuracy, and quality of a paper.

Editorials on Peer Review:

"Reviewing Papers"Opens PDF by Donald C. O'Shea: This editorial by a former editor-in-chief of Optical Engineering describes the peer review process and the responsibilities of reviewers.

"Four Attributes of an Excellent Peer Review" by Michael T. Eismann: This editorial by the current Optical Engineering editor-in-chief identifies four attributes that are essential to a high-quality peer review.

"The editorial review process" by Chris Mack: This editorial by the JM3 editor-in-chief outlines the review process, including responsibilities for authors, editors, and peer reviewers.

Sign Up As a Potential Reviewer

SPIE journals use a web-based peer-review system. To register yourself as a potential reviewer, or to update your information, please follow the instructions below.

Registered Users

If you have been an author or reviewer for an SPIE journal in the past, there should already be an account established for you in the system. Choose the journal related to your research area to the right to go to the online review system and follow the login instructions presented there. Please note that the reviewer database is shared between journals; if you already have a login for one journal, you do not need to create a separate account to become a reviewer for a different journal. If you do not remember your username or password, use the "Unknown/Forgotten Password" link on the bottom of the Welcome/Login page. Once you have logged in, you may update your contact information and areas of expertise by clicking on the “Modify Profile/Password” link under the “General Tasks” heading. Pay particular attention to your choice of keywords, because the editorial board will use these terms to match the topic of a paper with an appropriate reviewer. There are links in the system to get help from the journal staff if you have any difficulties.

New Users

If you have never been an author or reviewer for an SPIE journals, you will need to set up a new account. Choose the journal related to your research area to the right and click on the “New users…” link near the bottom of the page to register for a new account. Please note that the reviewer database is shared between journals; if you already have a login for one journal, you do not need to create a separate account to become a reviewer for a different journal. Once you have gained access to the website, you will be asked to update your profile with your current contact information and areas of expertise. Pay particular attention to your choice of keywords, because the editorial board will use these terms to match the topic of a paper with an appropriate reviewer. There are links in the system to get help from the journal staff if you have any difficulties.

We thank you for taking the time and offering your talent to this critical aspect of technical publishing.

Thank you!

SPIE would like to thank the reviewers who have contributed to the success of our journals. Click below to view the lists of reviewers who contributed their time to our journals in the past year:

2017 JARS reviewers

2017 JATIS reviewers

2017 JBO reviewers

2017 JEI reviewers

2017 JMI reviewers

2017 JM3 reviewers

2017 JNP reviewers

2017 JPE reviewers

2017 Neurophotonics reviewers

2017 OE reviewers