Decline to review a manuscript: Insight and implications for AJR reviewers, authors, and editorial staff

Sameer B. Raniga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE. The objective of the study was to evaluate and categorize the decline-to-review response to a manuscript review invitation that would allow American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) editorial staff to improve the peer review process and to reduce manuscript turnaround time. MATERIALS AND METHODS. This retrospective analysis included 9366 decline-to-review responses received by AJR editorial staff between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017 (a 3-year period). The responses were sorted into six broad categories: no reason given, reviewer was overcommitted (with academic or personal commitments), manuscript was not in an area of the reviewer’s expertise, the reviewer had already committed to a simultaneous AJR manuscript review, the reviewer claimed a conflict of interest, and miscellaneous and otherwise not listed reasons. RESULTS. The 9366 declined reviews were declined according to six general categories: no reason (3251, 34.7%), overcommitted (4629, 49.4%), not an area of expertise (1181, 12.6%), simultaneous AJR manuscript review (235, 2.5%), conflict of interest (55, 0.6%), and miscellaneous (15, 0.2%). CONCLUSION. The analyzed data provide a valuable insight for AJR editorial staff and reviewers to further improve the peer review process. The results and subsequent actions could help to reduce decline-to-review responses, which will help shorten the manuscript turnaround time and contribute to a timely decision on manuscripts for authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-726
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Decline to review
  • Manuscript turnaround time
  • Peer review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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