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FastTrack for Reviewers


WSU Extension Publication Submission and Review

Here are the steps for reviewing materials submitted for consideration as numbered WSU Extension publications. Reviewers are assigned to review documents by the Program Director for the subject area. Once a review assignment is accepted by a reviewer, the reviewer should follow the steps below. It is very important that reviewers evaluate a manuscript in a timely manner.

This is a Blind Peer Review Process, meaning, the author will not know who the reviewers are, and the reviewers will not know who the author is.

The job of a peer reviewer is to read a manuscript and assess its content for sound scientific basis, technical accuracy, and completeness. A peer reviewer should also document egregious gaps in structure or illogical organization. And finally, a peer reviewer passes judgment as to whether a manuscript is of high enough quality that it is ready to be submitted for editing and publishing.

Please note: a manuscript submitted for peer review has not been formally and OFFICIALLY edited; it is submitted as a DRAFT manuscript, requiring peer review of content only. Formal WSU Extension editing will take place AFTER peer review is complete.

Reviewers should make sure that their reviews are done anonymously. (View Windows‐based instructions or Macintosh‐based instructions.)


As a reviewer, you always have two options when you receive a request for review: you may either accept the review request or decline it. If you accept the review, you may then download the manuscript file to begin. You must be logged in to  FastTrack to do any of these things.

  1. Access the FastTrack system online. (The link to the log in page is also included in every email from FastTrack.)
  2. Log into the system using your login ID and password. If you have not received an e‐mail with your log‐in ID and password previously, please contact Lagene Taylor at 509‐335‐2823 or by e‐mail HERE.
  3. Once logged in to the system, click on the My review assignments tab at the top of the page.
  4. Locate the publication assigned for your review and click on it. You have two options:
  • Decline the review. Click the My review assignments tab, and click on Decline review for that submission. After declining, the reviewer has no further obligations for that manuscript. After a review has been declined, the Coordinator and Program Director receive an email indicating that so they know to assign another reviewer.
  • Accept Review Assignment to obtain the manuscript to review. On the My review assignments panel, click on Get review copy of document for that submission.
    • Download the Word document and save it to your desktop.
    • Make sure that the review is done anonymously. (View Windows‐based instructions or Macintosh‐based instructions.)
    • Turn on Track Changes in the Word document and enter all of your changes, recommendations, and questions into the document. (When reviewing a manuscript, please review for content only. Formal editing will take place AFTER peer review. )
    • Be sure to save the document after Track Changes have been made.


On the My review assignments panel, click on Review this document for that submission.

  • Answer all 13 questions with as much detail as possible.
    NOTE: If you plan on working on this screen for a long time, use the Save and
    finish later button (at the bottom of the form) to save your answers frequently.
    If your session expires and you submit this form, your browser will not save your review. You may find it more practical to compose your comments on a word processor and then copy and paste in the form when you are ready.
  • When you have answered all the questions, click on the Browse button to locate and upload the reviewed manuscript. Upload the reviewed document with tracked changes showing.
  • Click the Submit completed review button. (A completed review consists of: answering the 13 review questions and uploading a manuscript showing Track Changes.)

Automatic emails sent: When a Reviewer has submitted a review, an email is automatically sent to the Publications Coordinator and the Program Director informing them that a review has been submitted and that it is #x out of y reviews (ex: 1 out of 4, 3 out of 5, etc.).