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Manage your expert crowd reviews in Filestage
Manage your expert crowd reviews in Filestage

How Filestage can help you to review manuscripts securely and efficiently with expert crowds.

Updated over a week ago

Article overview:

In this guide, we'll show you how to manage the expert crowd review process efficiently and safely using Filestage. By following this process, you can replace external peer reviews with external expert crowd reviews, and create a holistic workflow that includes internal editorial reviews, expert crowd reviews, and detailed feedback to the author for changes. You can also export review reports for documentation purposes.

How to set up an expert crowd review project and manage the experts?

  1. Create a project

    • After receiving the manuscript from your author, you will kick off the process by creating a new project. Once the project is completed, you will upload the manuscript.

  2. Upload the manuscript

    • There are two different ways to upload files. You can either drag & drop the file or select to upload from sources like your computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

  3. Make sure your reviewers are anonymize

    • After you have uploaded the manuscript, please ensure that you have the anonymize reviewers setting enabled in your reviewer group so your reviewers are anonymized before you start inviting them.

  4. Invite reviewers

    • To ask experts for feedback, you invite them as reviewers. To do this, add reviewers to a reviewer group via email or the review link. This gives them access to all files in that reviewer group.

  • Optional: Set a due date for the review

    You can create a deadline for the review by setting a due date for files. By doing so, your reviewers will receive email reminders.

  • Optional: Remove reviewers

    Sometimes you have experts listed as reviewers that you don't want on the file anymore. You can easily remove reviewers from reviewer groups.

How and when to set up multiple expert crowd reviews

When managing expert crowd reviews, it may be useful to set up several expert groups to create a meaningful process. You can structure them according to your needs.

By creating multiple expert crowds, you can ensure that experts:

✔️ Stay active

✔️ Are invited to topics of their expertise

✔️ Are not overwhelmed

⭐ Bonus: By doing this, you get to keep a clear overview and can manage the crowd reviews more effectively.

To add another crowd of experts to a project, you can simply open your project dashboard and add a reviewer group and invite your reviewers to it.

Two use cases where it would make sense to create several expert crowd reviewer groups are when reviews need to be done thematically or at unique frequencies.

Organize expert crowd review by review frequency

To create an expert crowd by review frequency, we recommend that you create a second reviewer group and split your reviewers between them.

For example:

  • Split the expert crowd of Ecology & Evolution into two reviewer groups.

  • Then start the review of files bi-weekly to the respective reviewer group, to ensure that none of these crowds are overloaded and stay active.

Organize expert crowd review by area of expertise

In order to divide your expert crowds by area of expertise, we recommend that you create separate projects for each area of expertise. In these projects, the experts can then be subdivided more precisely according to the area of expertise.

For example:

  • We have set up a project on microbiology and divided our experts into their areas of expertise. In this example, we separated them into the areas of bacteriology and mycology.

  • Now start the review of manuscripts to the respective reviewer group that matches the expertise.

Optional: Editor selection

To guarantee the best possible expert crowd review, we recommend an optional editor reviewer group. This means that you create a first reviewer group to which the editors are added as reviewers. The editors first review all manuscripts, and they can then preselect if the paper meets their requirements before it goes into the crowd review.

For example:

  • We have created a first reviewer group before the Expert Crowd reviewer groups in the main topic Microbiology. Here, our two editors are invited, and they preselect the uploaded manuscript.

  • Once the editors have verified that the requirements are met, they start the review in the reviewer group with the crowd reviewers invited.

How to evaluate feedback from the expert crowd review and send it to the authors

There are two ways to pass on feedback to the author.

Option 1: Export review report

  1. Forward this PDF to your author via your manuscript submission system.

More control over what the author sees

Store PDF for documentation purposes

⚠️ Please note: If you want the reviewer to be anonymous in the review report, open the file via the reviewer link and then export the review report.

Option 2: Invite the author to access the review on Filestage

  1. Copy the review link of the correct file version.

  2. Share this review link to your author via your manuscript submission system.

The author can navigate easily through the comments

The author sees the latest version of the comments

The author can interact with the reviewers in a completely anonymous way

💡What´s next? after understanding how to manage your expert crowd reviews in Filestage, see how to Anonymize your reviewers for crowd reviews.

Let us know if you have any questions by reaching out to us on chat or emailing us at We're always happy to help!

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