Peer review is an integral part of scholarly publication. Hence, peer reviewers are held in high regard as they improve the quality of science that reaches publication and weed out questionable research. With the volume of publishing increasing each year, peer reviewers find themselves with multiple requests to review manuscripts. Peer reviewing is a voluntary service that researchers agree to undertake in their spare time and is usually unpaid. As a result, journal editors are finding it increasingly difficult to appoint reviewers as many do not want to accept review requests.
To gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind referees’ refusal to review, and ascertain whether the denial stems from “reviewer fatigue” (due to numerous review requests) and whether the reviewer behavior depends on gender, an editor at the American Political Science Review, Marijke Breuning, along with the journal’s staff, conducted a survey. The findings of this study were published in the paper Reviewer Fatigue? Why Scholars Decline to Review their Peers’ Work.