Reviewer’s rights and duties

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The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT” and “MAY” in this document are to be interpreted as described in Request For Comments 2119, available at

Rights and duties

1. Authorship. A reviewer MUST be given the opportunity to retain the copyright over the review content, or to freely hand it over, and MUST permit always and in any case its free reproduction.

2. Responsibility. A reviewer MAY decide to sign his/her review at any time of the review process, e.g. for making the process more transparent to the authors and to take formal responsibility on the content of the review.

2.1 Precedence. The reviewer’s right of signing his/her review MUST be guaranteed even if the review guidelines of a particular venue, such as a journal or a conference, suggest otherwise (e.g. single-blind review process).

3. Availability. A reviewer MAY publish at any time, even prior to publication of the document reviewed or even before the formal completion of the review process, his/her review by means of any platform he/she considers appropriate.

3.1. Licensing. In case a reviewer publishes his/her review, the review MUST specifies the license which guarantees its free reproducibility and which explains what one can and cannot do with its content.

3.2. Openness. In case a reviewer publishes his/her review, the reviewer MAY use an open license (as in the Open Definition) – e.g. CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA.

3.3. Provenance. In case a reviewer publishes his/her review, an explicit reference to the source article (or other kind of artefact) reviewed MUST be added by him/her, even if the article is not publicly available at the time of reviewing and despite the outcome of the review process and of any editorial decision (e.g. a rejected article).

4. Inviolability. The venue for which a review has been provided MUST NOT limit in any way the aforementioned rights and duties, e.g. by removing the sign of the reviewer to the report returned to the authors of the document reviewed.


This document is made freely available under a Creative Commons public domain dedication (CC0).