Instructions for Reviewers

We expect that the reviews of papers submitted to SPB will be:

  • On time – we need the reviewers to submit their opinions within 30 days (20 days for short reports). After having submitted the review, the reviewer will get access to the remaining reviews of the same paper in the system.
  • Informative – please devoid of purely emotional elements, be respectful to the author (irrespective of the quality of the reviewed paper). This is important for every author but particularly for young scholars (students, young doctors) who can easily get discouraged by an impolite and aggressive tone of a review.
  • Objective – please provide information about both strong and weak sides of the paper.
  • Constructive – please provide detailed instructions on how the text can be improved. This should have the form of consecutive points which the author can address in the revision. When reviewing the revised version, the reviewer should check to what extent the recommended changes have been introduced.
  • Conclusive – please suggest one of four decisions:
    • Accept
    • Accept pending minor revision. In this case, the decision on the revised version is made by the action editor.
    • Revise and resubmit. The text requires major revisions. If the revised version is submitted within two months, it will be resent to the same reviewers. Otherwise, it will be treated as a new submission.
    • Reject – the paper cannot be improved within the specified time period.

Please note that the Editor’s and Reviewer’s names will be revealed (full names and affiliations) once the article gets published in Social Psychological Bulletin (Psychologia Społeczna).

We count on your productive cooperation in the interest of our journal, the social psychological community, and each of us.

It may be useful when writing your review to consider the scales used below. You may cut and paste those questions into your Comments to the Editor and/or Author box if you wish.

  • How comprehensive is the paper’s objective? (1-10)
  • How sound/accurate are the methods used to reach this objective? (1-10)
  • Is the problem that the article tackles in your view a significant one? If so, how successful is the author in tackling it? (1-10)
  • Does the manuscript present significant new interpretations or findings? (1-10)

If you recommend publication, can you suggest passages that need revision, deletion or expansion? (detailed suggestions for improvement will be very welcome)

The more specific questions, that may help to construct the review, are:

Concerning the introduction:

* Is the reference made to the current literature adequate?

* Is adequate reference made to existing theory/ies?

* Are proposed hypotheses plausible? Are the aims and hypotheses of the study clearly stated? Can the hypotheses be derived from theoretical introduction?

* Is the overall structure of the report clear and appropriate? Is it in line with APA style?

* Is the language of sufficient quality?

Concerning the methodology:

* Are the technical details of the method and analyses clearly represented? Does the clarity and degree of methodological detail would be sufficient to replicate exactly the proposed experimental procedures and analysis?

* Do authors declare they have pre-registered the hypothesis and methods to test it? Are they disclosing all methodological decisions that have a bearing on the reported findings including the handling of missing data and outliers (perhaps in a supplemental materials)?

* Are the methods used in the article congruent with current state of the art?

* Are descriptive statistics for the main variables (raw and transformed) reported and presented appropriately for full sample (e.g., N, means, standard deviations, standard errors, confidence intervals, first-order correlations, frequencies)?

* Are the tables, figures, and photos or illustrations informative? Would you recommend any additional ones or recommend any of them to be removed or moved to supplementary materials?

* Are effect sizes reported (not always required, but very desirable in most empirical studies)? Are significance levels reported using precise p-values rather than cutoffs (such as <0.01 and <0.05)?

* Are the total number of excluded observations and the reasons for making these exclusions reported in the Method section?

* Are all independent variables or manipulations, whether successful or failed, reported in the Method section?

* Are all dependent variables or measures that were analyzed for this article’s target research question reported in the Methods section?

* Is how sample size was determined reported in the Method section?

* Does the analysis support the hypotheses?

Concerning the results’ discussion section:

* How well are the paper’s original objectives achieved?

* Are conclusions supported by the data presented?

* Are the implications of the findings for the hypotheses and theory clearly indicated and appropriately discussed?

* What is the nature and magnitude of the contribution made by the report to the field?


We all realize that quality of a journal, and thus its prestige, depends on the quality of published material, which in turn, largely depends on the feedback that authors obtain from reviewers. Therefore no journal can be good without the dedicated work of reviewers. We all want to publish in good journals. We all want to shorten the time between submission and publication of our papers. All of this depends on reviewers. We are both potential authors and potential reviewers. If we want to obtain fast and useful feedback on our own papers, we should also provide the same type of feedback on other authors’ papers.

Papers submitted to SPB are sent to three anonymous reviewers – the decision is made by the action editor on the basis of at least two reviews. Reviewers may be scholars with, at minimum, a doctoral degree, who are involved in research in social psychology and related domains. A request for a review is sent to the potential reviewer by the action editor electronically – we ask to confirm in the Editorial Manager within seven days whether one is willing or not to prepare the review.

The editorial team of SPB pays great attention to the quality of reviews. Most of us probably have had not only good but also bad experiences with reviews of our own papers. The most problematic are (a) reviews that are evaluative without any informative content; (b) opinionated and unkind reviews that affront the author; (c) reviews whose contents suggest that the reviewer has not really read the paper.