Reviewer Resources


SAE International appreciates the essential role of reviewers in the publishing process, and our reviewers are crucial to the integrity and validity of the research we publish. We rely on reviewers to help to improve quality and to adhere to SAE’s standards through a double-blind peer-review process. SAE journals and non-event technical papers require a minimum of three qualified reviews before a decision is reached about publication. SAE events requires a minimum of two qualified reviews.

What is peer review?

Scholarly peer review is the process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. Peer review is critical to enforcing the standards and integrity of high-quality scholarly publishing and can add value and further clarity to submitted manuscripts. The peer-review process acts as a filter for poor content and as a mechanism for improving content.

Why is peer review important?

Peer review is important because it acts as a quality control measure. The review process helps an editor and/or publisher decide if a manuscript should be rejected, accepted for publication, or returned for modification. Exposing an author’s manuscript to experts in his/her field of research checks for validity, integrity, quality, and value.  

Why is timeliness important?

SAE understands that reviewers are busy and that they will not be able to accept all invitations to review. The SAE staff asks that you respond at your earliest convenience if you are unable to accept an invitation to review a manuscript. Journal and non-event technical paper reviewers are also able to mark times within Editorial Manager® during which they will not be available to review manuscripts. Timeliness of response—whether agreeing to complete a review or not—is important in order to give authors timely feedback on their manuscripts. Reviewers that do not respond to invitations or do not provide reviews in a timely manner can cause serious delays in our time to first decision and to publication in general, and SAE strives to improve these timelines on an ongoing basis. Many reviewers also serve as authors and understand the importance of completing reviews in a timely manner.

Why are good reviews important?

Good peer reviews are critical because they provide a detailed analysis of the work,  and they also make efforts to distinguish the difference between appropriate and valuable research and flawed research. A good review will offer proof that the research is worth publishing, suggestions on how the research can be improved, or sound reasoning for rejecting a manuscript.

Good reviews ensure the integrity of SAE’s publications and events. It is the responsibility of all reviewers to act in ways that coincide with SAE’s policies and guidelines. SAE also supports and follows the policies and guidelines of COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Institutional Review Boards

SAE International is committed to ethical and compliant research and publications. Each author has the sole responsibility to confirm approval from the applicable Institutional Review Board (IRB) where necessary and required. All submissions to SAE publications should receive IRB approval in the following cases, including, but not limited to:

  • Research involving human subjects: in order to assure the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects and to ensure the institution and researchers/investigators have complied with applicable regulations
  • Any information or product that is subject to FDA approval, testing, or regulation
  • Any information or product that is required to follow Department of Health and Human Services (specifically Office for Human Research Protections) guidelines and regulations
  • Any information that is part of an application for a product, research, or marketing permit subject to FDA inspection or regulation

IRBs may grant exceptions to these requirements, which the author is required to provide upon request by the Publisher.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for SAE Technical Paper Reviewers

Volunteer Training Module for Reviewers

How do you conduct a peer review?

Accepting an invitation to be a reviewer for a manuscript begins the peer-review process. All reviewers must uphold SAE’s ethical guidelines and disclose any conflicts of interest. Reviewers are required to apply the guidelines when scoring the manuscript as listed on the SAE rubric.

Event papers are handled through MyTechZone. All journal manuscripts and non-event technical papers are handled through Editorial Manager®, a user-friendly manuscript submission and peer-review system for authors, reviewers, and editorial boards alike, which results in a more timely review process and allows reviewers to accept review invitations, submit reviews anonymously, and track the status of the manuscripts they are reviewing.

When a reviewer receives an invitation to review, he or she must consider the following before saying “yes.”

  1. Do I have the knowledge to adequately and appropriately comment on this manuscript?
  2. Can I meet the deadline for writing a review for this manuscript?
  3. Do I have any conflicts of interest? Can I provide an objective review?

It is vitally important to be honest when answering the above questions before accepting an invitation to review a manuscript.

When a reviewer accepts the invitation to review, it is now the responsibility of the reviewer to:

  1. Read the manuscript thoroughly.
  2. Make comments and critiques about the research. Reviews without comments are unacceptable.
  3. Make suggestions for improvement, if appropriate.
  4. Submit the review with a grading in the areas requested in the system and a recommendation for rejection, revision, or acceptance. A recommendation of acceptance at first review is rare and should only be used if a manuscript is of extraordinarily good quality in every way.

Journal and non-event technical paper reviewers are able to put in confidential comments for the handling Editor and are required to include comments for the author(s). Please see the Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Peer Review for more information.

Who can become a reviewer?

Anyone who is an expert in a research field can be a reviewer for a journal, non-event technical papers, or events on that particular research topic. Becoming a reviewer requires proficient knowledge in the subject area and the ability to provide constructive criticism to the author and editors. SAE does require previous experience as a peer reviewer or completion of a training program.

Being a reviewer can advance your career by helping you stay up-to-date with the latest research and trends. Writing reviews gives you the opportunity to contribute to research in your chosen field; however, serving as a reviewer does require commitment. The most important requirement for being a reviewer is that you can devote enough time to give a professional and useful review within the time frame given for a review, usually within one month maximum from the date of acceptance.

If you would like to be a reviewer for any of SAE’s journals, please email the Managing Editor at managingeditor@sae.org and include your resume, a list of recent publications, and a list of other publications for which you have reviewed.

For non-event papers, please email content@sae.org, and for event papers, please log into MyTechZone.

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