How to Configure a Workflow Template with External Reviewers

In processes that involve external reviewers to access materials in Workflow, a template can accommodate suggesting and vetting reviewers, along with the ability to have reviewers outside your institution easily access materials and submit their review. The steps below outline how to utilize both the External Reviewer field type and External Review step type to design this process. For more information regarding the user experience, see the perspectives outlined in these articles:

Add the External Reviewer field 

  1. Select any step (other than the new External Review step)
  2. Insert a new field > select the External Reviewer field typemceclip2.png
  3. The External Reviewer field type inserts a new fieldset. Administrators can name the fieldset and determine which of the related fields are required, as well as set a minimum number of responses, and a maximum number. Leaving both blank will result in no minimum and no maximum validation.mceclip3.png
  4. Once applied, the fieldset will display as it will on the form. Selecting the link in the blank grey box will create another card so that an additional fieldset can be completed. If a minimum of 1 is set for the fieldset, this is what end-users will see when completing their forms. They will be required to complete the required fields for at least one card before they can advance the submission. If a minimum of 0 is set for the fieldset, only the blank card (with “add another reviewer”) will display and users can advance the submission without adding a card.mceclip4.png

When a faculty member or reviewer submits answers to the fieldset, those answers are not seen by any other participant in the process (other than the on-campus reviewer for the External Review step). 

In addition to the process participants having this access, a Workflow Administrator can also view these details when viewing the submission contents.

Add the External Review Step 

  1. Add the External Review step type to your process. This type can be set up at any available scope. Once added, navigate to Configure Forms.mceclip5.pngmceclip6.png
  2. Two forms are available to be configured:
    1. External Review Will be sent to the external reviewer; there will be one version sent to each external reviewer. Shown below is a sample form. Upon creation, this form defaults just like other forms with a simple Comments field.mceclip7.png
    2. Administrative Review Is available for the on-campus point-person. Shown below is a sample form. Upon creation, this form defaults just like other forms with a simple Comments field.mceclip8.png

Form Security

The External Review step can have the same step security applied as any other step.mceclip9.png

In addition, all steps other than the External Review step itself (with the on-campus reviewer having full access) will see the External Reviewers identified as “Reviewer 1”, “Reviewer 2”, etc. to anonymize the reviews themselves. mceclip10.pngResponses to the fieldset collecting suggested reviewers are hidden from all other participants in the process (see note above about Administrators continuing to have access to view this). responses_fieldset_hidden.png

Other users who have access to the Submissions table via Permissions can see anonymized external reviews.mceclip12.png

Participants who may also have access to the Submissions table can see their own suggested reviewers and anonymized external reviews.


If external reviewers are submitting letters/documents with their reviews, and these need to be redacted, we recommend a separate step where the on-campus reviewer can upload redacted versions of the reviews. This enables the Administrator to remove access to the External Review step with the full details from all steps in the process, while selectively providing access to redacted reviews on a separate step. mceclip14.png

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful

Articles in this section

How to Contact Support
Click the "Submit A Request" button at the top right or bottom of the screen to create a case.
Watermark Academy
Click to access the Watermark Academy for free webinars, workshops, certifications, and free on-demand training