Best Practices in Peer Review (Infographic)
June 2022

Feedback from committee executivesFootnote * shows an increase in reviewers having difficulty in reaching a consensus rating.

A consensus rating is influenced primarily by the scores and scientific opinion of the assigned reviewers as well as the input of other committee members who participate in the application discussion. This peer review approach promotes an inclusive and cooperative environment for consensus-building.

Do’s and Don’ts that help to reach a consensus rating


  • Be open, respectful and consider everyone’s perspective during discussions
  • Be fair, reasonable and consistent in evaluations across applications by adhering to the rating scale descriptors and definitions
  • Be specific in the issues that significantly impact your score
  • Exercise rigorous scientific judgement and/or lived experience perspectives by backing up your opinions with evidence and examples
  • Compromise when possible and work towards a rating that reasonably satisfies the panel


  • Get stuck on small details, instead focus on the project’s major strengths or flaws
  • Monopolize the discussion
  • Take other reviewers’ views personally

A learning module on Participation and Responsiveness in Peer Review is also available to help reviewers participate collaboratively and contribute constructively during the peer review discussion.

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