Feedback practices in journal peer-review: a systematic literature review

SW Chong *, Tingjun Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feedback provided by peer reviewers plays a pivotal role in any journal peer-review model. Peer-review feedback helps authors reconsider their manuscripts in a new light and improve their work before it is published. While there is a wealth of knowledge and empirical evidence focusing on effective feedback practices in educational settings, there is a dearth of research on journal peer-review feedback, especially in some academic disciplines including the social sciences and education. To better under-stand ‘good’ and ‘bad’ peer-review feedback practices across academic disciplines, we conducted a systematic literature review, informed by grounded theory, that aimed to identify the feedback features and factors that exert an impact on quality of peer-review feedback. Findings from 20 publications indicate a list of good and bad features of peer-review feedback pertaining to content, language, tone, structure and timeliness. We also identified a number of internal and external factors that influence how peer reviewers provide feedback such as academics’ expertise, lan-guage skills, motivation and seniority, as well as external influences such as anonymity in peer-review, and interactions between editors and peer reviewers. Implications for researching and practising peer-review are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Peer-review
  • Journals
  • Research evaluation
  • Feedback
  • Reviewers
  • Systematic literature review


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