Questions tagged [peer-review]

On the evaluation of work (typically, a publication or grant proposal) by the author's peers. This includes: refereeing, which is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication in a journal or conference; peer evaluation of teaching skills; peer review of research grant proposals; and post-publication review of a book or article, as is common in the field of mathematics.

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52
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4answers
5k views

How to offer a reviewer to be co-author?

I currently have a paper submitted to PNAS. We had two rounds of revisions, and following detailed suggestions from one reviewer, we have improved our proposed algorithm a lot: its complexity is now ...
51
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7answers
14k views

Examples of harmless mistakes (on purpose) in submitted papers [closed]

Some paper reviewers feel the pressure to criticize something in order to appear competent. Sometimes they feel this pressure due to huge blank form fields for criticism in the reviewing system. As a ...
51
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4answers
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What does a “major revision” mean?

I recently received the reviews/comments for an article submitted few months back to a journal. All the reviewers overall appreciated the content and the usefulness, but also suggested corrections (...
50
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7answers
8k views

How detailed should my review of a very poorly-written manuscript be?

My question has to do with whether my responsibilities as a reviewer also includes copyediting duties. I am in the midst of reviewing a manuscript for a mid-tier applied health sciences journal. ...
49
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4answers
7k views

What to do if a colleague is reviewing an unchanged paper that has been rejected before on my recommendation?

Around a year ago, I reviewed a paper for a journal. The originality of the paper was questionable, and content and presentation were severly lacking throughout. Consequently, both another reviewer ...
49
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8answers
4k views

Why don't all disciplines follow a double-blind review system?

I'm new to the journal publishing world, and I can't but help wonder why the review process isn't completely blind? By blind, I mean the reviewers don't know who performed the research or (more ...
49
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4answers
6k views

Discovered a serious error in a reviewed paper after submitting the review, what to do?

I have been reviewing a paper where the authors apply a computational method from an earlier paper they published to a specific system of general relevance. The paper seemed ok, and I recommended ...
48
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15answers
16k views

How to handle a paper by a reviewer who wants to be paid?

A reviewer declines to review a paper because he wants to be paid. Some time later, this reviewer submits a paper to the journal (or to another journal who's aware of what happened – very possible ...
48
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7answers
6k views

Should I agree to review papers as a postdoc?

I am a post doc in mathematics, and was just sent a request to review a paper. This is the first time it happened to me. I never heard of this journal before, but it is a Springer journal, and upon ...
48
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7answers
11k views

I have a strong suspicion and weak proof that the data in the paper are fake. What to do?

I reviewed a paper submitted for a smallish magazine. It presented an algorithm to perform some allocation task and compared its performance to that of several other algorithms from the literature ...
48
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4answers
7k views

A frequent reviewer seems to have a grudge against me. What to do?

(Asking on behalf of a friend.) I work in math, in a field where reviews are not double-blind: reviewers are anonymous, but review copies of papers include attribution. I’ve received several reviews ...
47
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7answers
8k views

Referee made a mistake but recommended acceptance, what to do?

I recently received a referee report on a math paper in a mid-tier journal. In this paper I proved (to give an example avoiding technicalities) that all dogs are cute. But the referee claimed in his ...
47
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3answers
4k views

Is there any evidence that double blind peer review systems are beneficial?

Every so often, I stumble upon a question concerning "double blind peer review", i.e., the authors don't know the reviewers (as usual) but also the reviewers don't know the identity of the authors. ...
47
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4answers
7k views

Withdraw manuscript from peer review after finding a major error

I just received a major revision decision (1st round) for a manuscript I submitted to a reputable journal. After looking into one of the reviewer's comments I found a major error in my analysis. The ...
46
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5answers
7k views

Contractions (“can't”, “don't”) in a mathematical paper

I am refereeing a paper (a good one) for a mathematical journal. The author repeatedly writes like this: "we can't do", "we don't know" etc. He is not a native English speaker, and this paper is his ...
46
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4answers
2k views

Attributing contributions to academic work that occur in Stack Exchange

Sometimes we may ask questions on stack exchange or online forums wherein the response is helpful or even essential to a piece of work that gets published in an academic journal. If this occurs, how ...
45
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2answers
6k views

As a reviewer, is it inappropriate to make unsolicited comments on another reviewer's comments?

I'm reviewing a paper after minor revisions, and can partially see another reviewer's comments in the response letter. The other reviewer asks the authors to do X, but the authors argue that it's not ...
45
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2answers
6k views

A paper review I've undertaken turning out to be harder than expected

I recently agreed to review a journal paper (in theoretical computer science). After I started to read it in depth, I found out it is much harder than I expected - over 60 pages with over 20 theorems ...
45
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6answers
7k views

Nervous about submitting a paper - what if I made a mistake?

I'm an undergraduate and I've taken part in a summer internship. Part of the internship was writing a paper based on a model we developed, which we're hoping to submit. The paper is "finished" now, ...
44
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8answers
3k views

why do academics write peer reviews?

I do not understand what good it does them. A professor said it gives opportunity to read papers he would not read on his own. I am sure there is more to it but I do not see what they gain by ...
44
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5answers
8k views

As a referee, is it okay to ask for references to be removed?

Say I received a paper for review. Afterwards I discover that there are cited references that are not related to the discussed subject, or there are elements in the bibliography that are not ...
44
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4answers
7k views

Inappropriate reference requests from Journal reviewers

A journal article I submitted to a highly reputable journal has been returned with a number of revisions requested, most of which are useful and helpful and will improve the quality of the article. ...
44
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5answers
7k views

How to react to a reviewer’s comment when he is completely right, but you do not like the consequences?

One of the reviewers of my conference paper (computer science), which got a revise & resubmit, criticized that my conclusions are not well founded in my experiment and that they don’t show my ...
44
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1answer
4k views

Can I ask a publisher for a paper that I need for reviewing [duplicate]

I was asked to review a technical paper for a journal at a large commercial publisher. The paper extends on another publication that is cited several times throughout the document. The cited paper was ...
44
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6answers
71k views

When / how should I ask about a manuscript's status in review?

I have a manuscript that has been in review for 60 days. The journal asks for reviews within four weeks. At what point is it acceptable (and not detrimental) to contact the editor for an update? How ...
43
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10answers
9k views

As a PhD student, how do I benefit from reviewing a book my adviser is writing?

My adviser is writing a book for a course in computer science he will be teaching next fall and I will be the teaching assistant for that course. He wants me to review the book and go through the ...
43
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5answers
3k views

Why do reviews of articles often start with a summary of the article?

In my field, peer reviewers often start their review with: This article reports on a study that did X, using Y, in the area of Z. It found ... This seems like a waste of time and effort to me (and ...
43
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11answers
5k views

How to become a peer-reviewer?

I am in an interesting situation, I have a masters degree in electrical engineering but have been working as a software engineer for about 10 years. I have a lot of interest in doing peer reviews and ...
43
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9answers
8k views

Must I decline to review a former colleague's work?

I have been asked to review a paper that I know to have been authored by a friend and former colleague. Is it my responsibility to inform the editor and decline to review the paper?
43
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6answers
3k views

As a Ph.D. student, should I spend time reviewing papers?

I am a PhD student halfway through my journey. After I published a few papers, I am getting review requests from some medium rank conference and journal editors. While certainly it is an honour for me,...
43
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6answers
3k views

How can I clear myself of emotional attachment when reading reviewer feedback?

I have received feedback from reviewers on my latest conference paper (this is in Computer Science). It was an acceptance, which is nice. I feel I really need to consider in depth the reviewer ...
43
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8answers
3k views

Can I publish the reviews I write?

This is a follow-up question to Open versus Blind reviewing process, and is somehow related to What happens to the reviews that people write for journal articles after they're sent back to the ...
43
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3answers
4k views

Reviewer wants me to do x - Should I admit I don't have the resources to do so although I think it's a good idea?

A reviewer pointed out that I should do an additional experiment to further validate my analysis. I agree this would be a good idea and would further strengthen the manuscript. However, I think it ...
42
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4answers
10k views

How do you earn opportunites to review journals or conference papers?

Critical reading is a very useful skill for most PhD students (and postdocs and researchers in general). Instead of assuming that everything you read in a scientific paper is right, it's useful to ...
42
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1answer
5k views

Responding to an unambiguously wrong referee comment

I'm now replying to a referee. One of his points is unambiguously wrong. Moreover, without going into specifics, he spends a lot of time on that point and asks us to do something with our framework ...
42
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6answers
5k views

How far should you go in compromising your work to get it published?

To get my first paper published I carefully followed all reviewers’ instructions as I was convinced that reviewers are experienced researchers and reviewers. After major revision my first paper was ...
41
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5answers
13k views

I got the same referee report from two different journals

My coauthor and I submitted our article for publication to one of the best journals in our field. After a long time of review, we got a rejection decision by the editor based on the referee report ...
41
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12answers
6k views

What can a publisher offer to its best reviewers?

As a publisher, every now and then I saw reviews which are so good, I thought I should thank the reviewer with something more than "thanks". What can a publisher offer that will actually be useful? ...
41
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8answers
5k views

Is there hard evidence that the grant peer review system performs significantly better than random?

Funding agencies in academia use peer review to assess the quality of submitted grant proposals and to decide which proposals should be funded. I have some doubts that this system actually works based ...
41
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4answers
6k views

Review your own paper in Mathematics

I sent a paper to a good journal with other coauthors. Some days ago, one of my coauthors was sent an invitation to review this paper. Is this logical? I mean, has anybody of you ever received an ...
41
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4answers
58k views

How to suggest reviewers for a journal?

I recently tried submitting a paper to a journal. It was mandatory to suggest three reviewers. Is this a norm in journal submissions? If yes, how should one choose reviewers if I do not personally ...
40
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8answers
13k views

Is it fair that a PhD student should be allowed to review a research paper?

I really can't understand why an inexperienced PhD student should be allowed to review a research article written by researchers of considerably more experience and expertise. How do journals/...
40
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6answers
4k views

Are you permitted to forward the reviews from a rejected manuscript when submitting to a new journal?

Suppose I have a paper rejected from a top tier journal. The anonymous reviews highlight a number of strengths of my paper, but ultimately judge that the paper does not merit publication in that lofty ...
40
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2answers
9k views

Responding to a reviewer who misunderstood key concepts of a paper

How do you respond to a reviewer who is very critical about your paper but from whose comments you can easily see that he/she has misunderstood the key concepts of the paper? In my case, the first ...
40
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4answers
4k views

How to negotiate with referees of your paper

I have submitted a paper several years ago and its referee process took about three years and I had to revise the paper six times to get the final approval. The paper had two helpful and knowledgable ...
40
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3answers
2k views

What are some examples of negative effects on a career for boycotting Elsevier journals?

I fully support the Elsevier boycott, and came from mathematics (BS and MS) into my current PhD program in an engineering subdiscipline. I'm finishing up my PhD now and starting a post-doc soon. I've ...
39
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5answers
8k views

Is poor English grammar and writing style overlooked in otherwise strong math paper submissions?

Is poor English grammar and writing style overlooked by peer reviewers and editors in otherwise strong math paper submissions?
39
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5answers
6k views

Should arguments based on the proponent's gender be used in a grant proposal?

Recently I have reviewed a project from a female proponent. Among the scientific content there was a section about the under-representation of women in a specific field - saying that, on top of all ...
39
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5answers
5k views

Author wants to withdraw or insist on re-reviewing at proof stage of publication

I am editing a small scholarly journal published by a learned society. One of our authors, after his manuscript was finally accepted for publication and he had signed and returned the publishing ...
39
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8answers
6k views

Reviewer signs name on review. Should the editor censor?

Say a reviewer writes something like This paper is [yada yada blah blah]. Sincerely, Professor John Smith, Big Name University Should the editor just forward the review to the authors ...