What is involved in reviewing a  Reactome pathway module?

Reviewing a pathway module is similar to reviewing a review article and involves evaluating both a pathway report in text format and a corresponding online pathway diagram for completeness and accuracy.  A Reactome pathway is a hierarchical representation of a biological process. Pathways are broken down into component subpathways. A subpathway is further subdivided into its component biochemical reactions, and each reaction includes input and output molecules as well as any relevant catalyst or regulators. The text report includes a summary of each event (pathway, subpathway or reaction), a list of its supporting references, and a link to the corresponding event in our pathway browser on our development website.  This pathway browser web page, shown below, includes an Event Hierarchy as well as a Pathway Diagram and Event Details section. 

Pathway Browser

In the pathway diagram, reactions are manually laid out showing their relationships to one another. The details section of this webpage provides more detailed dynamic descriptions of the molecular composition and hierarchical organization of reactions. 

Selecting any event in the hierarchy (left panel) will bring you to its location in the pathway diagram, and the corresponding event(s) will be highlighted in blue in the diagram. A text and molecular description of the reaction or event can be viewed in the Details tab in the panel below the diagram. The description of the reaction may also be accessed by clicking on the reaction “node” in the diagram. A text description (and cross-references) for individual reaction component molecules can be displayed by selecting the molecule of interest in the diagram. More detailed instructions for navigating the website can be found here

We are asking reviewers to verify that the pathways and reactions described in the text document are annotated clearly and completely and that the molecular details of the reactions (described in-depth on the webpages) are accurate.  Additional instructions for navigating the web pages can be found here. We would appreciate any comments or suggestions on the user interface as well.

How long does it take to review a module?

Depending on the size of the module, reviewers take anywhere from a day to a month for their reviews. Typically, reviewers provide their feedback within two or three weeks. Reactome has a rolling quarterly release cycle though, so if your review takes a bit longer than expected, this is not a problem. We can include the revised module in the next release. 

If I’ve decided to review a module, how do I get started?

If you’re ready to get started reviewing, send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can put you in contact with the curator of the pathway module. You can communicate with this curator if you have any questions and when you’d like to submit your review. 

When can I see my work published on the Reactome website?

Reactome has a quarterly database release cycle, generally in March, June, September, and December. For a revised module to be included in a given release, we ask that reviews be submitted 6 weeks (or more) before the planned release date. So for a revised module to be included in a March release, we would need to have the review back in mid-January.

How can I provide feedback and suggestions to Reactome?

Comments may be added directly to the word document provided. Please opt to “tracking changes” so that your comments and suggested changes are highlighted. If you prefer, you can send your review as a separate document. 

What if my work (or other important work) has not been included or cited?

Due to limited resources, we may not have included all of the references that are relevant for a particular pathway or reaction, but we would be happy to add any that you might wish to see included. Likewise, if you would like to expand a pathway module to include events that we have not covered, we would be glad to work with you on this and would cite you as an author for any new content. 

What if I have questions while reviewing a pathway module?

We will pair you with the curator that has worked on the pathway module that you are reviewing. You can communicate directly with this curator for any questions. You can also contact us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any technical questions. 

How am I acknowledged for my contribution to Reactome?

Your review will be used by a Reactome curator to revise the pathway module. You will be acknowledged as a reviewer of this pathway on the web pages and in the Reactome table of contents.  This pathway module will also be associated with a DOI and may be cited as a publication. We ask that you provide us with an ORCID identifier so that we can associate this with the pathways that you have contributed.  Our main search allows our authors and reviewers to query for their pathway and reaction contributions using their names, and claim these contributions directly into ORCID.

 Spread the word!

Reactome is always looking for new contributors! If you know someone that would be interested in contributing a new pathway or reviewing/revising an existing pathway module, please let them know about us and our mission.