Add reviews to Editor's decision email not functioning (OJS 3.2.1.4)

Description of issue or problem I’m having:
Add reviews function (button) in Editor’s decision email is not working when there are more than 50 review invitations for that submission.

Steps I took leading up to the issue:
Tried to add the reviews in Editor’s decision email (e.g. Decline Submission)

What I tried to resolve the issue:
Don’t know how to resolve

Application Version - e.g., OJS 3.1.2:
3.2.1.4

Additional information, such as screenshots and error log messages if applicable:

Hi @BJBMS

Curious if you have the checkbox “Included in message to author” checked in the review form fields?

-Roger
PKP Team

Hi @rcgillis ,

We don’t use review forms. There is one review form present, but it is not activated.

You can reproduce the error by adding more than 50 reviewers to submission, then try sending the decision inserting the reviews in the decision email.

Thank you.
Faruk

Hi @BJBMS,

Did you try unassigning reviewers? If there are a large number of reviewers (OJS might not be equipped to handle that number - I can’t say for certain, though. You can go to one of the reviewers and click “Cancel Reviewer”:

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 8.56.17 PM

-Roger
PKP Team

Hi @rcgillis,

Yes, I tried that, and that solves the problem. But then, the problem becomes canceling the large number of reviewers, which is time consuming, especially when there are meny submissions and many reviewers.

Is there a better solution to this problem? Can we increase the number of reviewers that OJS can handle? Can we cancel multiple reviewers at the same time?

Off this topic: Can we assign miltiple reviewers after searching them, to save time and reduce the number of database queries?

Thank you for your support.
Faruk

Hi @BJBMS

I don’t think there is any easy solution to this, unfortunately. There may be a cap on the number of reviewers that can be assigned to a given submission and no easy way to up that limit. 50 reviewers seems excessive to me. If you assign a large number of reviewers to submissions, and only a small number are responding to the request to review, I would certainly reconsider this practice going forward. So far as I know there is no way to cancel a large number of reviewers at once - this has to done on a per reviewer basis.

Maybe you could explain your use case a bit further as to why you would need a large number of reviewers assigned to a submission? I’ve never heard of journals doing this, but perhaps your workflow is different?

For your additional question: can you please create a new post and pose your question there. We prefer to limit posts to one topic as this keeps things more organized.

-Roger
PKP Team

Hi all,

Just to add a note – I don’t think OJS has any kind of cap on the number of reviewers, though I agree with @rcgillis that it’s likely to be tough to work with as the list grows longer. I suspect you’re encountering a problem with email delivery; as the number of recipients grows, your ISP is likelier to flag notification emails as spam.

Reviewers are a tricky bunch because they rarely receive any credit for their work. For that reason it’s typically important to treat them with extra respect and send personalized communications rather than batch-assigning larger numbers of users in the hopes that one or two will respond.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

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Hi @rcgillis and @asmecher ,

It is common in our (and other biomedical journals’) workflow to send more than 50 invites for review for a single submission. Scientists are usually very busy and respond with a decline to review due to their other commitments. It is not easy to get 3 reviews in a reasonable course of time. However, we take special care, to the best of our ability, that in our invitations manuscript and reviewer are best matched. The reason for this is that our reputation depends on it. No scientist likes to be randomly invited to review a manuscript that does not match his/her expertise, and any journal that sends such invitations will quickly be regarded ignorant, disrespected, and disregarded in scientific community. Our journal (www.bjbms.org) is reputable, has a good Impact Factor, respectable editorial board and large number of readers. Our editors published several articles in different journals against bad editorial practices.

For OJS emails, we use an SMTP email service from a third party company. We have a good domain reputation. As per the reports provided by our email service company, only a small number of our emails end up in SPAM. Our domain is not blacklisted on any SPAM list.

However, our problem is Adding reviewers comments to a decision email which is not working when more than 50 invitations are sent for particular submission. We overcome that by copying the reviewers’ comments in a separate Word file, then pasting them into a decision email in OJS.

I am scientist myself and receive in average two review invitations per week from different journals. I just can not commit time to all of them, and accept to review only most specific ones related to my work. I hope this clarifies the need for sending more than 50 invites per submission, which sometimes may go up to a 100 if the research topic is uncommon.

Best regards,
Faruk

Hi @asmecher,

Regarding the reviewers: We treat them with lot of respect and offer many benefits
See here: https://www.bjbms.org/ojs/index.php/bjbms/reviewers
And here: https://blog.bjbms.org/
And here: https://blog.bjbms.org/category/reviewer-of-the-month/

Best regards,
Faruk

Hi @BJBMS,

OJS doesn’t have a hard limit on the number of reviewers you can assign, so it’s up to you to set policies. I do suspect your ISP is preventing you from sending out so many emails at once, though, and you may want to follow up with them.

However, on inviting large numbers of reviewers, here are a few related discussions:

  • https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/101539/editor-invites-many-reviewers-simultaneously:

    It’s quite common to invite multiple reviewers simultaneously, though 4-7 is on the high side in my experience (yet sometimes, even 4-7 is not enough!). The numbers quoted in the details below are for physics, and might differ for other fields.

    Regarding whether or not it’s ethical, it really depends on tradeoffs. The tradeoff for not inviting multiple reviewers at the same time is that your paper will take longer to handle. It’s not just submitting reviews on time. Not every reviewer invited will agree to review it! My personal guideline when I was an editor was that, each time I invited reviewers (3-5 at a time), I would budget one month till I receive reviews. That itself is an optimistic budget - 6 weeks is closer to the average, since there’s a long tail in the distribution.

  • https://scatter.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/too-many-reviewers/:

    [I]t has become pretty common now for me as a reviewer to get a packet with four reviews. No wonder we regular reviewers are feeling under the gun. The old calculation of two or even three reviews per article has gone by the wayside. The pressure for fast turnaround and the high turn-down or non-response rate among potential reviewers has led editors to send out articles to extra reviewers in the hopes of ending up with at least the minimum two or three.

    But this is a death spiral. As a frequently-sought reviewer I get at least four requests a month, sometimes as many as eight, and I used to get more before I got so crabby. When I was young and eager, I was reviewing an article a week [and thus, by the way, having a huge influence on my specialty area], and I know some people who are keeping that pace. But at some point you burn out and say “no more.”

    There are lots of reactions from reviewers too:

    I am also deluged with requests to review and can’t possibly do them all. I am offended by the degree of “over-asking” that is going on. So what to do? I think some of the strategies you suggest are useful, some less so. 1) Urging editors to cut their ask to 2 or at MOST 3 is very, very reasonable. They can explain delays to authors if they got turndowns and need to re-ask. Treating failure to respond to a request in 10 days would be excellent as long as this generates an automatic “we are now assuming you turned us down.” Then the practice of sending to MANY potential reviewers, which email has made TOO CHEAP, might be reduced.

There may be ways to get a better response rate from your reviewers, rather than assigning >50 reviewers to each submission. That seems like it would be better for all parties.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Thank you, @asmecher,

Although I feel that this was not the topic I asked for help about, I appreciate your valuable suggestions.

I will just copy/quote the conclusion from the best rated answer that you shared the link for:

“In the end it comes down to how long authors are willing to wait for their papers to be reviewed. If authors are willing to wait 6 months, then yes, editors can invite one reviewer at a time and waste fewer reviewer-hours. On the other hand it’s common for authors to start worrying if they don’t hear back in two months, in which case the editor really cannot invite one reviewer at a time.”

In addition, when 3 reviewers accept to review, which is a minimum, we stop further invitations.

Best regards,
Faruk

1 Like