220 votes

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

I think you are treading on thin ice, ethically speaking. Obviously you, as an editor, have no obligation to help the authors in any specific way, and you are free to tell them about your improvement ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
143 votes

How to review a revised paper I have already rejected?

When you recommended rejection, you presumably listed a series of issues that made it unacceptable. On the revision, you go back and repeat the list of issues and simply say for each one, "The ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 13.4k
129 votes
Accepted

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

This is not a major revision. Just change the value in the final version. (And explain to the editor in the cover letter that you are correcting a typo. A misplaced decimal point is essentially a typo....
Peter Shor 's user avatar
126 votes

What should PhD students do if they submit a paper to two journals and a reviewer notices concurrent submission?

If you are a seasoned reviewer you should know the rules, so falling back on being an inexperienced graduate student probably won't hold water. So clearly this was less a 'mistake' and more of a '...
HEITZ's user avatar
  • 10.1k
114 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable, as a Reviewer, to ask the Editor about another reviewer?

I have a very simple solution to propose: Write a message directly to the other reviewer whom you would like to know. Address it to the reviewer, not to the editor. In the message, identify yourself ...
Tripartio's user avatar
  • 9,387
107 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning when the editor says a paper is "provocative"?

I do not think "provocative" in this context is 'provocative' ;). I read the rejection letter to mean: You are attacking the current consensus, and this causes me (the editor and the ...
Thomas Schwarz's user avatar
99 votes
Accepted

Is it fair to desk-reject a manuscript because it breaks relativity?

That procedure would remove the ability to overturn incorrect mainstream results. But the author should explicitly address the issue Whilst I appreciate the Bayesian reasoning involved here (high a ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 68.6k
93 votes
Accepted

Can I write a referee report too fast?

Fast is great! Just be warned that it means editors will like you and send you more requests so you’ll have to learn to say no. If you also say “no” quickly and suggest alternatives, then you’ll ...
Noah Snyder's user avatar
  • 32.8k
85 votes
Accepted

Masters' advisor uses my work without citing it - Journal decided to intervene

First, I think you have done the right thing in bringing this to the editor. A serial plagiarizer and abuser of students should be stopped. Second, you can't control the situation anymore. The editor ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
84 votes

Can you share some screenshots of editor's control panels?

The following screenshot is for Editorial Manager (used by Springer, Nature, APA, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, PLOS). The action links on the left are where everything is done. Brief explanation of ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 128k
75 votes

Unexpected email from Computational and Applied Mathematics registering me as an editor and then sending me a paper to review - thoughts?

You (almost certainly) haven't been added as a member of the editorial team. You have simply been added to their database as a potential reviewer - an email like this is sent automatically when this ...
avid's user avatar
  • 20.1k
74 votes
Accepted

Journal published a paper, ignoring my objections as a referee

This probably isn't something to fight over. Possibilities abound: Perhaps you misunderstood something. Perhaps the other reviewers were positive on the paper. Perhaps the authors provided arguments ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 128k
74 votes

Journal published a paper, ignoring my objections as a referee

EDIT: The question has been changed since this was written. Your key misconception is that the editor needs reviewers' permission to publish a paper. Actually, the decision to publish rests solely ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
72 votes
Accepted

I got a very bad review from one reviewer, but the paper was not rejected

Since the editor did not reject my paper and asked me to provide a revision you can revise the paper and resubmit with a fair chance that it will be accepted. Respond to all the comments in the ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 35.8k
71 votes

How to deal with an unreasonable reviewer asking to cite irrelevant articles?

From your answer, we can guess that you received a "major revision" decision. In that situation, your job is to modified your manuscript according to the reviewers' comments, not to try to find out ...
Emilie's user avatar
  • 5,734
71 votes
Accepted

Is it bad to withdraw a manuscript one day after its submission?

I am a co-editor of an interdisciplinary journal (social sciences/humanities). I would rather an author withdraw and get the piece into shape than for us to either read it and have to desk reject, or ...
canadian_scholar's user avatar
71 votes
Accepted

Is it good courtesy to reply and express gratitude to an editor's long letter of rejection?

It's fine to express gratitude with a brief thank you, calling out the specific thing you are thanking for (the time taken to write a detailed response), and mentioning the benefit to you (for example,...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 116k
67 votes
Accepted

What to do if a special case of a theorem is published

With the amount of papers that are published nowadays, it’s not rare that a result gets overlooked, whether your are an author, reviewer or editor. If the proof published in the new paper is somewhat ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
61 votes
Accepted

Should I withdraw my paper because the editor is delaying the report?

The situation is sub-optimal, but not as bad as you seem to think. Remember that being an editor to a scientific journal, even one published by Elsevier, is often a volunteer job. Moreover, the ...
Maarten Buis's user avatar
  • 43.7k
56 votes

How to tell reviewers that I can't update my results

A frequent response in experimental fields goes something like: "We appreciate the reviewer's suggestion to use the 'X' technique, and do believe this could lead to an interesting extension of ...
AppliedAcademic's user avatar
54 votes

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

If the paper is overall lousy then simply reject it. I'm sure the reviewers would give you plenty of reasons for this. However, if all it is, is a weak algorithm but otherwise well written, then it ...
noslenkwah's user avatar
  • 2,752
54 votes

Reviewers’ comments are not sufficient to reject my paper, what to do?

You make the suggested changes, assuming you agree with them, and submit to another slightly less prestigious journal. Most likely, the editors didn't think your paper was interesting enough for their ...
Alexander Woo's user avatar
52 votes
Accepted

Should I withdraw my paper because review is taking too long?

Implicit in your question is the assumption "if I withdraw my paper I will be able to get it published elsewhere faster". Are you sure that will happen though? It's entirely possible you ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 128k
51 votes

Referee recommends paper rejection with no further comment - how to react?

Submit somewhere else. The accept/reject decision is made by the editor, based on the recommendations of the referee(s). In this case, the editor felt that the referee's opinion of unsuitability, ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
51 votes
Accepted

Paper with potentially inappropriately-ordered authors, should a journal act?

I would strongly encourage you to go for Option (1) - do nothing. You are reading a lot into a very noisy signal. It's possible that something shady is going on, but it is also very possible that the ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
49 votes

Identity of a supposed anonymous referee revealed through "Description" of the report

If the review itself is not signed, it sounds like the unblinding was not deliberate. I would: Reply as if the review were anonymous Notify the editor in a separate, private message saying there may ...
Cameron Brick's user avatar
49 votes

Spot a possible improvement when reviewing a paper

Contacting the authors directly is a terrible idea. Don't go there. Contacting the editor with a question or request is fine. If you contact the authors directly and they interpret it as a form of ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
47 votes

What should PhD students do if they submit a paper to two journals and a reviewer notices concurrent submission?

Your best course is to write your professor, both journals, explain your reason sincerely, and let them handle the situation as they see fit. Everyone make mistakes, and sometimes they are bad ...
padawan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
47 votes

Paper rejected due to short reference list

the editors reject it on the basis of size of the reference list rather than focussing on the quality of the manuscript. I think that's a false distinction. From the view of the journal (and most ...
lighthouse keeper's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Reviewer signs name on review. Should the editor censor?

If the journal is structured with a blinded review process, as most are in my experience, I would censor the name as an editor. Only if there is some sort of explicit journal policy allowing ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 116k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible