When approached to referee a mathematics paper there are of course a couple of factors to consider in the decision of whether to accept the task or not.
- Do I have sufficient background knowledge to referee this paper?
- Am I an “expert” in this particular field?
Why did they approach me?
I guess there are two possibilities:
- The authors suggested me as a possible reviewer (the authors might know me).
- The editor came across my name (either through connection, studying cited papers of the paper at hand, search for similar papers, asking a colleague).
This will mostly just be speculative as editors don’t seem to typically review such information.
- The number of papers that I am currently already reviewing. There is only so much one can do without greatly affection one’s own research productivity.
My question is:
How do people weight these factors?
How do experienced reviewers decide on whether to accept to review a paper?
With how many papers to review on the desk do people say no? (of course length of the papers is a factor here too).