First time reviewer for a mathematical journal here.

I'm encountering a lot of little presentational flaws, such as typos and grammatical errors, but also LaTeX problems. It doesn't stop there, I also encounter (what I see as) problems in the structure of the text, for example, a rather important definition is "hidden away" in the text and referenced later, but it could be improved to be a standalone definition.

I don't know how far I should go in my review. Of course I'll point out all typos and grammar issues and require those to be fixed before publication. But can I ask people to improve their LaTeX typesetting? Can I ask them to restructure their text? Can I ask them to change the title in order to match the content better?

1 Answer 1


A lot of journals "retype" the submitted works and the formatting of the version of the paper that appears in the journal will be different from what the authors submitted initially. I would not point out LaTeX problems in the peer review unless they severely limit the clarity/correctness of the paper.

You probably need to justify the text restructure - if it's going to majorly improve the flow of the paper and highlight certain important features. However, you should balance between "I think it is just better to write it this way" (use this judgment for your own papers) and "Providing the definition of A is important to avoid ambiguity in B" (certainly include in your review).

Since you explicitly added the question about the title change, I would advise applying an even harsher standard on personal taste vs. necessary changes judgment for the title.

Anyway, especially in your first review, I would focus more on the major questions:

  1. Novelty of the scientific contribution
  2. Correctness of the proofs
  3. Proper coverage of the previous work
  4. Justification by numerical results and visualization (if applicable)

Pointing out typos and grammar mistakes is also important, but that should probably constitute the minor part of your review.

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