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Instructions for peer reviewers

Peer review is the foundation of quality in research for both books and journals, ensuring that published research is rigorous and ethical. Peer reviewers can access a number of resources to assist them with their peer reviewing duties:

The journal administrator is also happy to help with any queries regarding undertaking peer review assignments. Please contact the Editorial Office with any questions.

Reviewing for Journal of Fluid Mechanics

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 (including appendices);
  • 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.
  • Any reference to previous work within the review should be accompanied by a brief citation.

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. For JFM Rapids only, referees will be asked to specifically comment on: the timeliness and potential for exceptional impact of the research and the clarity and completeness of the arguments presented in the submitted manuscript. This will assists the Editor in determining whether consideration as a Rapid is justified.

To support the timely publication of articles, referees are asked to return their report 30 days after agreeing (15 days for JFM rapids papers which are expediated through peer review). If you are unable to complete the review in this time but would like to provide a review, please contact the Associate Editor to discuss whether it is preferable to decline or receive an extension.

Appendices and Supporting Information

If the submission is accompanied by movies, either of experiments or simulations, then these will be considered as integral to the paper and should, therefore be refereed. At this time, reviewers are not required to formally review other types of supplementary information or resources that are not included in the article.

In order not to disrupt the narrative flow, purely technical material integral to the understanding of the paper may be included in Appendices. Referees should consider whether the content of the appendices is appropriate or could some be placed in supplementary materials, being required only by those wishing to replicate the study.


The paper and any supplementary material has been submitted to JFM in confidence.  You must not share the content for review with any other person, public platform, or AI tool (for example, ChatGPT) except with the explicit agreement of the Associate Editor.

Competing Interest

If you feel that you have a potential conflict of interest related to a manuscript you are being asked to review, please let the Associate Editor know before agreeing to review, and they can advise accordingly. There is also the opportunity to declare competing interests when submitting your review on the online form.

Becoming a reviewer

If you would like to become a reviewer for Journal of Fluid Mechanics, please register at the journal’s online peer review site ScholarOne ensuring you add keywords that represent your expertise.

Online Peer Review System

This journal uses ScholarOne for online submission and peer review. ScholarOne is a “comprehensive workflow-management system for scholarly journals, books and conferences”. Further information on ScholarOne can be found here.

Contact the Editorial Office

Queries about peer review can be directed to the Editorial Office: