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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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247
votes
8answers
20k views

A paper I received to review has (independently) duplicated work that we are writing up. How to proceed in light of peer-review confidentiality?

I did some research with some collaborators, and we have been writing an article ("paper A") describing the work. A few days ago I received a request to review an article ("paper B") that covers most ...
140
votes
3answers
14k views

What to do if a referee plagiarises the result after rejecting a paper?

I find myself in an awkward situation. Nearly two years ago I submitted a paper to a reputable mathematics journal. After 15 months it was rejected with the rationale that there had been papers ...
137
votes
22answers
34k views

Should I simply ignore it if authors assume that I'm male in their response to my review of their article?

I received a response about a manuscript I reviewed earlier, and the authors write about the reviewer (i.e., me) and his concerns. As a woman, I'm not so keen on this. Obviously this isn't ...
135
votes
1answer
58k views

What does the typical workflow of a journal look like?

What steps does a manuscript typically go through from submission to publication (or rejection) in a typical journal? How are these steps referred to, in particular by editorial systems, and how long ...
124
votes
12answers
35k views

I am an editor for a lousy paper and I found a better algorithm than theirs. Must I share it with them?

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time ...
115
votes
5answers
11k views

If I request a paper through my university library, must they pay a substantial amount of money?

I was asked to referee a mathematics article, submitted for publication in a reputable journal. To evaluate it, I also wanted to look at a cited article which it claims to extend. Upon searching ...
112
votes
10answers
21k views

Editor rejected manuscript claiming it is similar to a not-yet-published manuscript (that I haven't seen). How to proceed?

A few months ago, I submitted a manuscript. After the reviews were completed I received a rejection decision from the Associate Editor (AE). The rejection was based on the basis of a single rejection ...
112
votes
6answers
11k views

Asked again to review a paper, when the authors don't wish to modify it

I have received a manuscript to review for a journal. The interesting thing is, I had already reviewed this article (exact same title, abstract and author list, almost exact same content) for another ...
101
votes
10answers
18k views

During peer-review, should I comment on the authors' messy code?

I'm reviewing a paper in pure mathematics. A lot of results in the paper depend heavily on computer computations, and the authors have provided in the article a link to the Magma code they used for ...
93
votes
13answers
14k views

Is it OK to refuse to cite paywalled papers?

I wonder how reviewers would react if authors of a submitted paper refuse to cite paywalled papers. Is it a valid reason to refuse citing some papers? I am mostly interested in the field of computer ...
93
votes
11answers
20k views

Why is peer review so random?

8 Scientific Papers That Were Rejected Before Going on to Win a Nobel Prize Funding Analysis: Researchers Say NIH Grant Funding Allocation Seems No Better Than Lottery The same paper resubmitted to ...
87
votes
9answers
17k views

Referee says the proof is wrong, but it is not, what to do?

About 3 months ago, my co-author and I submitted a mathematical paper to a journal. Yesterday, we got the editor's response and the paper has been rejected. The reason is that the referee thinks that ...
83
votes
11answers
33k views

Can I, as a reviewer, tell authors to get a native English speaker to proofread their paper?

I am reviewing a paper for possible publication in a respected journal. The English in the paper is very poor. The authors are clearly not native English speakers. I want to write something to the ...
80
votes
12answers
17k views

Is it acceptable to use non-English references in a computer science paper?

I am currently reviewing an interdisciplinary computer science paper which is heavily based on previous works in logistics and process engineering that have been unfortunately published only in German ...
79
votes
13answers
12k views

What to answer an author asking me if I reviewed his/her paper?

Suppose I review someone's paper anonymously, the paper gets accepted, and a year or two later we meet e.g. in a social event and he/she asks me "did you review my paper?". What should I answer? There ...
77
votes
12answers
9k views

Why don't researchers request payment for refereeing?

One of the most criticized aspects of the current publishing scheme, is that academics do pretty much all the work for free and publishers get the money. Why don't people just charge a fee when ...
75
votes
6answers
19k views

Is it okay to mention we're citing an article only because a reviewer told us to?

In a recent review, one reviewer said we must rework the paper in light of two other papers. One paper was a highly valuable suggestion, and we've enthusiastically taken it on board. However, the ...
75
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it okay for a reviewer to share an under review manuscript with their colleagues?

In a research meeting I mentioned I was doing some peer-review for a conference and disclosed the general topic it was about, without any further details. Immediately my colleagues demanded I disclose ...
75
votes
3answers
4k views

A manuscript I refereed gave me an idea for a paper, not sure how to proceed

So, last week I refereed a paper for a journal. The paper in question is a reply to a previous paper by a different author: it points out a serious problem in the original paper and then proposes a ...
74
votes
5answers
49k views

Do you list journals you have reviewed for on your CV?

Is it acceptable to list the journals you have reviewed papers for on your CV? Is it common? Do you think it’s recommended? On the one hand, it shows that you are engaged in this necessary part of ...
74
votes
3answers
11k views

How should I handle poor English in reviewing an article that claims to be proofread by two native English speakers?

I was asked to review an article written by non-native English speakers. I had never seen this before, but the manuscript includes a link to a certificate from a website called Textcheck that says: ...
73
votes
6answers
16k views

Can I correct a mistake that the reviewers didn't spot in a paper that has not been accepted yet?

Recently my paper was accepted pending major revisions (i.e., not yet accepted), and while following the reviewers' comments and revising my paper, I realized that both reviewers missed a mistake that ...
71
votes
8answers
13k views

I got a paper to review from a journal that had rejected my earlier works, how to respond?

Recently, I got a paper to review for a journal (Elsevier) which is very reputed. The fact is that this journal had rejected two of my earlier works after keeping it under review for more than a year ...
69
votes
7answers
7k views

Should a paper be reviewed in entirety, if the introduction contains plagiarized passages?

I'm very new to being a peer reviewer. I agreed to anonymously review a paper for publication, and while reading it for the first time, I was a little annoyed by the writing style. It sort of reminded ...
68
votes
11answers
13k views

How can I obfuscate my writing style when I review papers?

Does anyone have any good advice for obfuscating one's writing style when reviewing papers? I have a fear that I would inadvertently use the same turn of phrase in a referee report as in some ...
66
votes
10answers
8k views

Is it common to review papers assigned to your supervisor?

Is it common to supervisors to email their students papers to review (which were apparently assigned to the supervisor, and not to the student). The field is Computer Science, but I would also like ...
63
votes
9answers
11k views

Journal published a paper, ignoring my objections as a referee

A few months back I received a request from a reputed journal to review an article. The article was in a fast-track mode because of its assumed importance. I did review it, and found that it makes ...
63
votes
4answers
13k views

Colleague stole my work and is publishing it as his own; my PhD supervisor supports him; I got the paper to review. How to proceed?

By chance, I am reviewing now the paper which I recognised as a paper of my colleague. We are from the same institution and I am surprised that I got this paper to review, but, on the other hand, I am ...
63
votes
5answers
9k views

What should raise red flags to detect fabricated data

In academia, there has been recently some cases that came to light of very well known scientists that have fabricated their data out of thin air. In some instances these papers have been cited many ...
63
votes
4answers
9k views

During review, I found a superior solution. What now?

I received a journal paper for a review. The paper suggests a solution to an important problem, but the solution is very complicated and has mediocre performance. While reading the paper, I thought of ...
62
votes
11answers
47k views

Is it possible to submit a paper to a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal without PhD and get it accepted?

Is it possible to submit a paper to a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal without PhD? More specifically, what would be the bare minimum qualifications that would grant one the possibility of the paper ...
62
votes
12answers
12k views

Reject a paper based on relevant but pointless research direction

Disclaimer: this is a hypothetical question, not (immediately) related to any concrete past, present or future reviewed paper. My context is the no man's land between Computer Science and Applied ...
62
votes
6answers
5k views

Should I accept review requests from dubious journals?

I'm a graduate student with, so far, one published article in a peer-reviewed journal. Since the article came out, I've been receiving increasing amounts of "academic e-mail spam" from people wanting ...
60
votes
12answers
7k views

Handling unsolicited proofs of famous mathematical problems

I have been receiving mails from (most probably amateurs), who claims to have proved famous mathematical problems, like the ABC Conjecture or Goldbach Conjecture. But invariably, they all contained ...
60
votes
5answers
12k views

What to do if reviewers reject a paper without understanding the content?

One of my friends submitted a paper to a reputable communications journal and received some reviews a week back. The paper was rejected, but the review comments were abysmal: The language was so bad ...
58
votes
9answers
8k views

What prevents reviewers from providing biased and very negative reviews?

One of the fundamental features of science, maybe even the most important, is that publication of scientific results is peer-reviewed. I want to understand why peer review is effective in the ...
57
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it OK to review a paper which builds on my work?

Suppose I've written a paper which someone else (who I do not know) has built on. The new work is intimately related to mine; it would not have existed without my paper. I'm now asked to review the ...
57
votes
1answer
5k views

I found a nontrivial mistake in my currently-under-review paper. Should I send a correction to the editor?

I submitted the paper to a respectable journal about five months ago. My field is mathematics, and I'm at the postdoc stage of my career. The proof of one of my theorems is more or less completely ...
56
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it normal that a peer reviewer would ask for an executable file in order to check my results?

I have just received a decision letter for my submitted manuscript to an Elsevier journal. It was a revise and resubmit. However one of the reviewer asked for an executable file in order to check my ...
56
votes
3answers
3k views

How to discourage irrelevant self-citation?

I once reviewed a manuscript whose authors cited many of their own published papers, which were not relevant to the subject of the manuscript. This kind of practice is evidently frowned upon by the ...
55
votes
10answers
16k views

I have been asked to change the review I gave to a paper

I rejected a paper after careful review and consideration, writing six pages to justify my decision. In less than 24 h I have received a petition to change my verdict to major changes. The rationale ...
55
votes
6answers
17k views

How should I interpret “English is poor” review when I used a language check service before submission?

Recently I submitted a manuscript to an international journal. It was accepted with a minor revision, but I am worried about the reviewers’ comments. The first reviewer commented that the paper is ...
55
votes
6answers
11k views

Why does editor reject when reviewers recommend acceptance?

I have recently received a response for a paper submission. The paper expanded on a conference presentation, and it was submitted to the journal special issue related to that conference. All three ...
54
votes
8answers
9k views

How to handle plagiarism on method that does not affect outcome results when reviewing a paper?

I was reviewing a paper related to my field (computational fluid dynamics) a while ago and, while reading a part of the methodology section where the numerical scheme and the equations were explained, ...
54
votes
5answers
5k views

When reviewing a manuscript for the second time, is it fair to comment on aspects I did not realise the first time?

I refereed a manuscript and recommended a major revision. Now, almost three years (!) later, the manuscript has come back to my desk. The editor told me to treat it as a revision and not as a new ...
53
votes
4answers
12k views

What to do when you notice that a value in your paper is wrong, once it is accepted but before it is published?

8 months ago, I have submitted my paper to the top journal in my field and finally it got accepted. Unfortunately, I have found one wrong table entry (Experiment Section), which is not a logical value ...
53
votes
7answers
11k views

Should I continue reviewing a paper after having discovered plagiarised content in it?

I received an invitation to review for the International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing. I started to analyze the manuscript by reading the title, abstract, introduction, results ...
53
votes
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 ...
52
votes
6answers
10k views

How should I respond to a reviewer's complaint about self-citation?

Recently, I submitted an article and got a response from a reviewer that I cited 6 of my own articles out of 44. The reviewer said that it’s a cheap act of self promotion. If I do not cite my own ...
52
votes
5answers
7k views

How do people peer-review many papers?

I am an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. I try to be an active peer-reviewer but on average it takes a few hours to review a manuscript (reading, some searches in the literature, checking some ...