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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267 votes
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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 ...
Senex's user avatar
  • 3,754
151 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
jp26's user avatar
  • 1,613
139 votes
22 answers
37k 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 ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
133 votes
12 answers
37k 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 ...
Matilda Martin Santos's user avatar
130 votes
7 answers
17k 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 ...
F'x's user avatar
  • 73.1k
117 votes
5 answers
12k 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 ...
Anonymous's user avatar
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113 votes
10 answers
23k 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 ...
CTNT's user avatar
  • 1,003
111 votes
11 answers
14k views

Ethical concerns regarding the review of a paper on autonomous armed drones

I would like your suggestion on a delicate matter involving a paper that I am reviewing. I will avoid giving too many details to preserve anonymity. In this article the authors describe an algorithm ...
LeopoldBloom's user avatar
102 votes
10 answers
19k 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 ...
reviewer's user avatar
  • 811
99 votes
11 answers
22k 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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 128k
97 votes
5 answers
25k views

What should I do if I suspect one of the journal reviews I got is AI-generated?

I’ve submitted a paper to a reputable journal and received two reviews asking for a revision. One of the reviews is on-topic and helpful. The other, however, I suspect was generated by an AI based on ...
pintor's user avatar
  • 823
94 votes
13 answers
15k 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 ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
92 votes
9 answers
20k 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 ...
import.all's user avatar
87 votes
11 answers
46k 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 ...
user46452's user avatar
  • 741
86 votes
13 answers
15k 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 ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
82 votes
6 answers
67k 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 ...
F'x's user avatar
  • 73.1k
81 votes
12 answers
21k 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 ...
Jan Přikryl's user avatar
81 votes
12 answers
11k 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 ...
Gabriel's user avatar
  • 2,686
78 votes
6 answers
21k 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 ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
77 votes
4 answers
11k 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 ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
76 votes
3 answers
15k 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: ...
Craig W's user avatar
  • 741
76 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
Koldito's user avatar
  • 9,036
75 votes
6 answers
20k 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 ...
KADEM Mohammed's user avatar
75 votes
14 answers
16k views

How is it possible that [insert known crackpot] has articles published in Peer-Reviewed Journals?

Note: This question is intended to be a generic version of something that gets asked occasionally on this site. I apologize for making it overly-contrived, but it's intended to be a generic template ...
eykanal's user avatar
  • 48.4k
75 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
Pablo's user avatar
  • 2,746
75 votes
10 answers
12k 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 ...
seteropere's user avatar
  • 13.8k
72 votes
8 answers
15k 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 ...
Coder's user avatar
  • 12.7k
72 votes
6 answers
18k 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 ...
Bravo's user avatar
  • 23k
70 votes
12 answers
86k views

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

Is it possible to submit a paper to a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal while not holding a PhD? More specifically, what would be the bare minimum qualifications that would grant one the possibility of ...
duskn's user avatar
  • 836
70 votes
7 answers
8k 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 ...
Concha Gomez's user avatar
70 votes
6 answers
12k views

Seemingly-irrelevant papers, all with author in common, suggested by reviewer

I recently received a decision letter calling for minor revisions prior to acceptance. One anonymous reviewer was extremely knowledgeable and provided many helpful suggestions to better explain and ...
LunarLlama's user avatar
69 votes
9 answers
14k 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 ...
Peaceful's user avatar
  • 2,335
67 votes
11 answers
14k 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 ...
Charles M. Burgess's user avatar
67 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
66 votes
12 answers
13k 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-fly zone between Computer Science and Applied ...
Miguel's user avatar
  • 962
66 votes
6 answers
13k 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 ...
Leon palafox's user avatar
65 votes
5 answers
174k views

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 (...
user avatar
64 votes
4 answers
15k 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 ...
user65771's user avatar
  • 651
64 votes
4 answers
9k views

What to do when I can prove a conjecture of a paper I'm peer reviewing

I was given a paper to peer review. A result of that paper has been obtained with some extrapolation trick and so they present it as highly plausible conjecture. It turns out that me and another ...
BlueElephant's user avatar
  • 1,630
63 votes
11 answers
5k views

Why do academics write peer reviews?

I do not understand what good it does them. A professor said it gives an 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 ...
user4231's user avatar
  • 2,380
63 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
anon's user avatar
  • 633
62 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why can't we just use platforms such as arXiv for proper peer-reviewed publishing?

Many of you will know that, whether per subscription fees or via open access models, there is a ridiculously absurd amount of money flowing to many big (or medium-size) publishers for getting our ...
mfg's user avatar
  • 1,473
61 votes
14 answers
15k views

Is it ethical to make an anonymous referee realize we know who he is?

A year ago we submitted a manuscript to a high-profile journal. I was a co-author. The review process for this journal is single-blind—that is, the authors do not know who the referees are, while the ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 3,891
61 votes
12 answers
15k views

Co-author uses ChatGPT for academic writing - is it ethical?

I am writing a paper with a co-author. I spent a considerable amount of time (several months) writing a first draft of the paper. I then sent it to co-author asking them to revise the draft and add ...
Dmitry Savostyanov's user avatar
60 votes
7 answers
13k views

Results that are too good to be true - peer review

So, I'm reviewing a medical study (open-label trial) that compares the efficacy of different drug doses on a patient population (heart failure). The study is arguably of low-quality, compared to the ...
Anastasios Tsarouchas's user avatar
60 votes
12 answers
8k 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 ...
Alfred Gauss's user avatar
  • 1,023
60 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 128k
60 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
adipro's user avatar
  • 8,488
59 votes
8 answers
16k 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 ...
Marvel LePont's user avatar
59 votes
13 answers
24k views

I am reviewing a very bad paper - do I have to be nice?

I received a paper to review that I can only describe as very bad. Not only are there structural issues that anyone that has previously published a paper in a respectable journal should know to avoid (...
Sursula's user avatar
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