It’s International Peer Review Week, and this year’s theme is “Recognition for Review.” This makes me wonder whether authors feel a sense of appreciation for their reviewers. As an author, I have always felt intimidated or depressed by peer review. But on some reflection, I feel that reviewers have actually helped me improve my papers. Have you ever felt a sense of appreciation and gratitude for your reviewers? If you had the opportunity to write a note of thanks to your reviewers today, what would you write?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Cape Code, scaaahu, Federico Poloni, Anonymous Mathematician, iayork Sep 20 '16 at 13:53

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    The question should not be whether, but when authors do feel a sense of appreciation for their reviewers. I have appreciated reviewers for giving me great suggestions that helped me to drastically improve my papers, for pointing me to important work, and for fairly considering the strengths and weaknesses of my work in their decision. I have despised reviewers for reading my papers hastily, for being overly opinionated in their criticism, and for ignoring my rebuttal in their final decision. – lighthouse keeper Sep 20 '16 at 11:03
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    Honestly, the moment I receive the reviewer's reports I think che palle!, and I repeat this for the whole day, possibly with the company of my coauthors. Then, after a while, I can recognize that some remarks are useful... let's say I'd offer a beer to a few reviewers ;-) – Massimo Ortolano Sep 20 '16 at 11:29
  • A good indication is usually given by how the authors respond to the criticisms made. Sadly all to often I find that the authors pay only lip service to the comments I make as a reviewer and do as little as possible to get their paper through review, which is a shame as my intent is to make the paper a better paper. It is always nice though when you get an example where the authors have obviously taken your advice seriously, which is a good demonstration then have appreciated your efforts. – Dikran Marsupial Sep 20 '16 at 11:30
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    I'm voting to close this question in its current form because it's not possible to answer in a reasonable way. Unless someone has access to stats on the matter you're just going to get a list of personal anecdotes. – Cape Code Sep 20 '16 at 12:55

Contrary to the impression you may get reading this forum, mostly authors do appreciate the work of referees.

On a few occasions, when a referee provided valuable information, I have added it to the paper and thanked "an anonymous referee" for it in the paper.


We just finished revising a paper in response to three peer reviews that were clear, well-reasoned, and thoughtful, and our paper is undoubtedly much stronger as a result. I definitely appreciate those peer reviewers.

I would say that maybe one in ten of the papers I write end up like that, with all three reviewers giving suggestions that are unambiguously helpful. Probably seven out of ten times, one reviewer will make one or two moderately helpful comments, and the remaining times, the reviews are mostly trivial, or actively wrong, and are not helpful.

Still, that means that the vast majority of my papers are at least a little improved by peer reviewers' comments, and sometimes I'm helped a lot. So, yes, as an author I definitely appreciate the work of peer reviewers.

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