48

Just being well-written and correct is not enough. Why should someone read the paper? What are the new things that we learn thanks to this work? Why is it exciting, interesting or useful? Why should we care about it so much that it should be published in a journal? How is it advancing science? What was the state of the art before this work, and how did this ...


31

Referees and/or editors should not invite the authors to submit a revised version unless there's a real chance that the revision will be accepted. Also, most things could be made significantly better than they are. If your feeling is that the paper, even though not flawed in any way, does not meet the standards of the journal, then I think you should ...


28

Take a very deep breath. The only way to react to a review that you believe to be in bad faith is to act as the bigger person. You can definitely mention that the reviewer disagrees with the other reviewers, but don't say anything about motives to the editor - there is no way that it can benefit you. The editor will have noted a difference in tone themselves ...


24

Actually, don't assume anything. They sent it to you for your honest evaluation and feedback. Give it to them. But, make it complete. Say what is good, but also where you think it fails to meet the standard, either of scholarship in general or the standards of the journal. Don't make recommendations to the editor about the alternatives, I think. But if you ...


20

It's normal to change titles during the review process, sometimes reviewers even ask for it explicitly. If it's causing a problem or confusion, change the title.


15

If this concerns you, write something like: This paper uses X to investigate Y. It is well-written and the conclusions are backed by the experiments performed. I have no concerns and recommend acceptance as-is.


15

One point I have not seen raised here that I think you should pay attention to in the future: if you think the paper is not up to the journal's standards you should say so in your first referee report. Suggesting changes too would be a courtesy to the authors. Replying just with the list of changes and saving your reservations for later may cost the ...


15

It certainly appears as though the reviewer is making an unreasonable demand, yes. Unfortunately, this situation is too common: reviewers as experts, and thus often active participants in the field, have their own conflicts of interest and biases. Since your paper is conditionally accepted, I recommend you let it go. Try to ignore the reviewer's intentions,...


10

If you have 9,000 words, do not try to add new words only to get closer to the limit. If you have 9,999 words, do not remove words merely to get further from the limit. Submit no more than 10,000 words unless you ask permission (sometimes there is flexibility in the word count, sometimes not). In summary, use the limit as given and don't concern yourself ...


10

If I write something on the lines of "the work is well-written and well-presented" and keep the review report succinct, I am worried that the editor might think I did not review it critically. There is no such thing as a perfect paper. Even when a paper is technically sound and written in perfect English, there usually is something like an explanation that ...


9

You should. The editors aren't likely to know otherwise. A review that says "there's nothing wrong with this paper, but it uses a well-known method to investigate a not-too-different system and discovers something that's unsurprising" - this is perfectly fine and the editors are likely to appreciate it. After all they're not likely to know all three points. ...


7

First, share your concerns with the editors. The reviewers may not have realized the extent of the work. If they agree that a long paper is fine, then write the long paper. If they don't want to do that then consider breaking the work into two papers with one referencing the other. You could even submit them simultaneously to the same journal. But it would ...


6

If the papers the reviewer is pointing you to actually have impact on your paper, the reviewer is doing you a favor, potentially extending the useful lifetime of your published work. Read the papers, and incorporate them if it makes sense. If it doesn't, don't, and explain why.If you feel compelled to make the point that you didn't "forget" to include ...


6

In my experience, it is perfectly valid to reject such a paper on the basis of an inadequate review of the literature and/or limited relevance compared to the state-of-the-art. However, you may (understandably) have some reservations about rejecting the paper outright. In this case, I suggest considering adding something to your review along the lines of: ...


5

No, there isn't. Different journals/publishers will have different guidelines. Here're some examples of publicly-published reviewer guidelines: Wiley Elsevier PLOS One To illustrate the differences, Wiley's guidelines say "What is the main question addressed by the research? Is it relevant and interesting?" (emphasis mine). Meanwhile PLOS One doesn't care ...


4

If there were a strict definition and satisfying it became important, then the disreputable journals would find a way to game that. It's straightforward to determine whether a journal is reputable: ask the experts (the word reputable, after all, refers to reputation). Experts here means, for instance, faculty working in the relevant field at reputable ...


4

A short letter saying the paper is correct and well written is OK. The editor may want your opinion about whether it's important or interesting enough to meet the standards for this particular journal. Check your instructions.


4

The claim here is that the Figure 2 and Figure 6A look like they separate blot, but if you look at the pixel level shape of the dark blue highlighted bands, you'll see they are the same band. I.e. the bands being used to say that the mock in Figure 2 had no effect on p-IkBa are the same bands that are used to claim that the mock in what is presented as an ...


4

Without considering the actual case. A referee is not an investigator/detective. This is why figures/tables/photographs might be composed or manipulated without being noticed at first. It is right what you say: they look credible and likely make sense in the context of the work. Though, some entries look copied and pasted. This is a recurrent case. ...


4

Sometimes they are. That's called double blind refereeing. It is becoming more common. From https://www.maa.org/press/periodicals/guide-for-referees The Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America has mandated that our journals use a double‐blind review system. This blog post and comments discuss the history, pros and cons of double ...


4

I would say yes it's possible as I have just had a paper accepted where I changed the title during review. Now the change wasn't huge and the referee had commented on the title (and I'm not submitting to medical journals). Like most things in a refering process, if you can justify it and the referee(s) accept the change you can get away with alot. It might ...


4

You should go with what @Jukka Suomela suggested: explain why the paper is interesting, why someone should read it, etc. But there is another thing -- in my field, reviews often start with a few paragraphs that quickly summarize the work being discussed (usually in a pretty neutral way). This allows the reviewer to recap what they understood about the work, ...


3

The answer of Jukka Suomela was very nice and comprehensive. However, I would like to add some remarks. Remember that there was a reason that the editor has chosen you to be the reviewer of the paper. Because he/she found you an expert in this scientific field not in the language or the technique of writing. Therefore you should be very strict about ...


3

Some conferences and journals do employ "double blind" reviewing. Whether it is superior or not can be debated. Whether it is actually "needed" or not can also be debated. But, single blind is just a tradition that makes some things easier on authors and editors. Double blind reviewing normally requires that a special version of a paper be presented for ...


3

I'll give you my perspective as an co-Editor-in-Chief and previously an Associate Editor of the ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (ACM TOMS): As Editor-in-Chief, I take a brief look at each paper and decide whether it even makes sense to move forward with it. I would say that between 10 and 20% of the papers are already filtered out at this stage: ...


3

From my understanding of the term, it seems to me that your job is to evaluate two things: Is the manuscript in "good enough" shape to publish without a proper, more rigorous peer-review process? As you say, there's no opportunity for a back-and-forth with the authors, although presumably they would have an opportunity to incorporate your feedback. So you'd ...


3

I think the few different statuses you would typically indicate are: Submitted: after submission but before you’ve received any indication that it’s being reviewed Under review: during the entire back and forth of reviews, revisions, rebuttals, etc. Forthcoming (also called “In press”): once it’s been accepted but hasn’t yet been published. As for ...


2

is there a commonly-agreed-on definition of what this means? Generally, good peer-review means that experts in your field carefully read your work and evaluate its merit. The definitions of "experts" and "carefully" vary widely across disciplines. Some fields require several rounds of meticulous back-and-forth between author and journal; others are less ...


2

This obviously depends a lot on the journal. I've never heard of an article being not being sent for review for (say) Classical and Quantum Gravity. But in the case of Physical Review Letters, rejections by the editorial desk are quite common, with the most commonly cited reason being the significance of the work is not clear (enough). For a good PRL ...


2

First, many journals these days allow for "supplementary information", which does not go in the main paper, but is available for download at the journal's website for interested readers. You could add a brief summary of the new content to the main paper (say a page) and then refer the reader to the supplementary information section if they want all the ...


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