Sometimes I’ll review a paper for a journal and reject it.
A few months later, another editor will ask me to review the paper again for a different (usually worse) journal.
Initially my stand was to only review it if I thought I was going to accept it at that new journal. (Say I’d suggested it wasn’t of general interest for Glam, but would be a good fit for Top Field, and then I got it to review for Top Field.) I would politely decline otherwise.
Then an editor emailed me back to ask if I wouldn’t please reconsider my decline. And another asked if I could send my previous referee report even though it wouldn’t be official. Even though the paper might have changed!
So my new policy for something I rejected but didn’t think would fit without changes was to email the editor to say I’d already reviewed it, didn’t like it at the time, and might be biased given I’d already rejected it. Would they like me to review it again?
So far 100% of editors have either asked me to re-review or to send my previous rejection. So they can see if the author took my advice, they say. I suspect they don’t check that carefully depending on what the other reviewers say.
This makes me uncomfortable. I don’t really think it’s fair. I wouldn’t want reviewers who didn’t like my work the first time to review it again without me having the ability to explain to them why their comments weren’t right for whatever reason or to see that I’d clarified the thing they thought was wrong but really was only written unclearly… or what have you.
But it’s what the editors want, and I’m still in a position where I want to keep editors happy. So I think I’ll continue asking them what they want. But I won’t feel good about it.
What do you do? Do you ever get articles to review that you’ve reviewed before? What do you do if you’re an editor and you send it out to someone who has already reviewed it?