Components of a Review

A JCR review has the following components:

  • Your confidential recommendation for the manuscript’s disposition
  • Your confidential comments to the editor and associate editor
  • Your comments to the authors (a maximum of three pages)

Confidential Recommendation for Disposition

Reviewer recommendations are advisory to the editor and associate editor. Make a recommendation only to the editor and associate editor, but ensure your recommendation matches the content of your review. Do not allude to your recommendation for disposition in your comments to the authors.


No changes are necessary. Use this rarely used recommendation for manuscripts that are virtually flawless in their content.

Conditional Accept

Subject to minor revisions. Use this recommendation when a manuscript is judged to be quite strong with the contribution in place subject to only minor and low-risk additions, deletions, or corrections.


You see a path to publication and can specify doable steps the authors can take. Use this recommendation for manuscripts that have a high degree of potential for eventual publication, but you believe significant changes must be made to resolve your concerns and result in an acceptable manuscript.

Detailed comments to the authors are extremely important in support of this recommendation so that the authors can respond to all the concerns in a single revision. A clear delineation of the major concerns that must be addressed for publication versus more minor and optional concerns is also important, again so that authors will have the necessary guidance.

A recommendation in this category should not be construed as a guarantee of eventual publication. In some cases, a promising manuscript will not be adequately revised to attain the quality and level of knowledge contribution required for publication in JCR.

Risky Revision

You don’t see a clear path forward, but there is hope and you are willing to see the manuscript again. Use this recommendation for manuscripts that seem promising but for which either of the following are true:

  • The steps needed to achieve the contribution carry with them substantial risk
  • The steps to achieve the contribution are unclear (the problems are apparent, but the means of solving them are not)

In choosing this recommendation, you signal that the likelihood of the manuscript proceeding after the next round is unpredictable given the magnitude and scope of revision that is required.

Straight Reject

The likelihood of successful revision is remote and you not want to see this manuscript again. Use this recommendation for manuscripts that are weak and for which there is no identifiable path to publication at JCR. For example, the topic may be of minor importance to the domain of consumer behavior, the core idea may be interesting but the basic conceptual development may be extremely weak or incorrect, or the empirical work may have defects that cannot readily be remedied.

This category will be the modal category for JCR submissions, based on the overall historical rejection rate of approximately 90 percent.

Comments to the authors should be polite in explaining the nature of the concerns but need not be as lengthy as in the previous categories. While it is permissible and efficient to articulate only the most serious concerns, in cases when the core idea is interesting, thoughtful advice for how to produce potentially publishable work for another journal by building from that idea may be included.

Confidential Comments to the Editor and Associate Editor

You can be completely honest in your confidential comments to the editor and associate editor. Rather than convey frustrations or strongly negative judgments in your comments to the authors, include them in your confidential comments.

Comments to the Authors

Your comments to the authors represent the most important component of the JCR review. They provide the rationale for your evaluation of the manuscript, as well as suggestions for improvement.

Comments to the authors are generally most useful to the authors and the editorial team when they begin with an overall assessment of your reaction to the manuscript, including prominent strengths and weaknesses. This overview is valuable in providing a context for the more detailed comments that follow. The detailed comments should offer constructive, specific guidance for a revision or for future research efforts.

Comments to the authors should not contain any indication of a recommended rejection or acceptance of the manuscript. Such recommendations should be made only in the confidential comments to the editor and associate editor. It is the editor’s responsibility to make the final decision.