Revert (reviewer) decision functionnality

Could someone explain exactly what the “Revert decision” (regarding a reviewer’s decision) command/action means/implies?

The documentation only seem to state that this action “cancels the reviewing confirmation” and will “unconsider the review”. But What does it do exactly and what is it for?

While experimenting with that fonctionnality, when an editor does revert a decision, it comes back to the “Read review” state and a mention of “Round x Status – New reviews have been submitted” is shown (eventhough a log entry is made indicating the review was stated as “unconsidered”). Shouldn’t there be a clearer indication in the dashboard that would say “review read : unconsidered” or something similar? Or maybe it’s because we don’t really understand what this feature is for? Is it expected that the review will be re-read later? (I wonder after seeing this post : Revert Decision is too strong of language choice).

I have also seen somewhere that this action (i.e. “revert decision”), will cause the reviews and its associated files not to be included in the revisions request email to the author. According to my tests (with versions 3.1.2-4 and 3.3.0-13) this is not true. Or maybe it was in a former version?

Thank you for enlightening me on this matter



Thanks for your comments. @asmecher, will the work being done as a part of or impact this in 3.4? Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve seen the revert decision used very much, so I may be misunderstanding it’s distinction.

PKP Team

Hi @Marie-Helene / @rcgillis,

To be clear, there are two features related to reviews and reverting:

  1. The ability for an Editor to reverse an editorial decision or remove a newly-created review round. This is being introduced in 3.4, and doesn’t exist in 3.3 and prior.

  2. The ability for an Editor to mark a review as “considered” / “unconsidered”, opening up the ability to thank a reviewer after the review has been considered, and affecting status information on the submission lists (e.g “New reviews have been submitted”). It’s possible to return a review to an “unconsidered” status, sort of like marking an email unread in an email client. This feature exists in 3.3, but is confusing; this is being cleared up with 3.4: Allow editors other than the assigned editor to confirm a review and thank the reviewer · Issue #7486 · pkp/pkp-lib · GitHub

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

thank you @rcgillis and @asmecher for your answers.

Yes Alec, that’s feature #2 I was talking about. Your example of the “read/unread emails” explains better what this feature does I guess. I think most editors don’t really understand what it is and use it maybe to “not take into account” a review as their editorial decision might be contrary to a given review… I’m not sure a read/unread review feature is usefull (?)… In what cases, what situations is this used?
If this feature (revert reviewer decision) is retained in version 3.4, may I suggest a better documentation about it.

Good day to you,


Marie-Hélène Vézina

Hi @Marie-Helene,

The intention of this feature is to provide clear information to editors on their list of active submissions. We want to distinguish between several cases without forcing the editor to click from the list into each submission:

  • Submissions that are waiting for reviewer responses,
  • Submissions that have been reviewed but the reviews haven’t all been considered yet, and
  • Submissions that have been reviewed, and all reviews have been considered by the editor.

We’re doing some design work on these issues for OJS 3.5, so expect this to change. But one major cause for misunderstanding of this feature has been addressed with the issue linked above – which is that editors who were not explicitly assigned to the submission could not mark a review as considered. Attempting to mark a review as considered did not appear to have any effect unless the editor was assigned. That’s no longer the case, which will hopefully make the feature at least a little clearer.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

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