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Advice for reviewers

Refereeing is an essential component of peer-reviewed scientific publishing. It can improve the quality of a paper significantly and contributes to advancing science as a whole, even when the decision to publish is negative.  Decisions on articles submitted to the Journal of Fluid Mechanics are made by the Associate Editors, guided by the advice and recommendations of expert referees. The Editors of JFM and authors all value the work done by referees greatly. Thank you.

The overarching policy of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics is that research articles should contain sufficient information to allow others to understand, replicate and verify findings, and compare them with alternative studies. Please see our Research transparency policy for more detailed information to consider when producing your referee report.

Your report

Please provide a narrative report that can be communicated to the authors containing the following elements:

  • A summary of the paper, stressing what in it is new and interesting;
  • Your judgement of the the overall quality of the paper and its suitability for JFM, bearing in mind that JFM seeks to publish primary research that develops our understanding of fluid mechanics;
  • Your evaluation of whether the paper is technically correct and scientifically sound;
  • An assessment of whether the paper is written clearly and whether its length is appropriate;
  • General suggestions for improving the paper, including suggestions about the overall approach and structure of the paper and for additional work that might be required;
  • Detailed suggestions for improving the paper.

It is the policy of JFM that referees’ reports are communicated to authors anonymously. While in most cases there is no harm in referees identifying themselves, anonymity avoids conflicts of hierarchy and can allow an editor to mediate difficult cases focusing on scientific issues while avoiding conflicts of personality. Your report should be reasoned and reasonable, focusing on scientific and scholarly issues.

There is an opportunity to provide comments to the Associate Editor that will not be communicated to the authors. These might provide additional information about the context of your report including disclosure of a potential conflict of interest, for example. Please do not make recommendations regarding publication in this section that are not reflected in your report to the authors.


The paper has been submitted to JFM in confidence.  Please do not pass it on to others except with the explicit agreement of the Associate Editor.