How do you write a peer review

Get a sense of the shape of the paper.

how to do peer review in class

Or it may be because it is very recent or published in a journal slightly outside their usual field. The conclusions should reflect upon the aims - whether they were achieved or not - and, just like the aims, should not be surprising. Several academic websites highlight the importance of the peer review process by providing guidelines and resources.

Submit your review without proofreading it and checking everything one more time. Were other considerations omitted?

Are the data and tools suitable and correct? Each method can only answer certain questions. The process can be deconstructed to two steps—reading the manuscript as a reviewer followed by writing a good review.

Get this outline in a template Giving Feedback Giving feedback is hard. Where methods are not detailed enough, it's usual to ask for the methods section to be revised. For example, in studies carried out over time are there sufficient data points to support the trends described by the author?

Peer review letter example

Results and Discussion This section should tell a coherent story - What happened? Check out the peer review examples at F Research to see how other reviewers write up their reports and give constructive feedback to authors. For example, if previously held theories are being overlooked Major Issues Are there any major flaws? How can this be corrected? This will also help you keep your comments organized. Then, generously, suggest other texts and fields they might bring into conversation with their project. If a manuscript only uses half the citations typical in its field, this may be an indicator that referencing should be improved - but don't be guided solely by quantity References should be relevant, recent and readily retrievable Balance Check for a well-balanced list of references that is: Helpful to the reader Fair to competing authors Not over-reliant on self-citation Gives due recognition to the initial discoveries and related work that led to the work under assessment You should be able to evaluate whether the article meets the criteria for balanced referencing without looking up every reference. Referees must walk a proverbial tightrope to provide strategically articulated, firm, but friendly feedback. Are there other considerations? You might also notice a fatal flaw during your first reading. However, attention to scientific detail as a referee may salvage the process. If not, say which are not On Presentation and Style Your review should ultimately help the author improve their article. This inevitably requires the referees to read the work critically. Does the author adequately explain the literature cited?

Information Gathered: Images, Graphs and Data Tables If you find yourself looking at a piece of information from which you cannot discern a story, then you should ask for improvements in presentation. If you would have studied it a different way, then go study it that way.

Negative peer review example

Does the analysis seem logical and supported with data, and do the conclusions follow from that analysis? This might be the only time you read the manuscript. Get a sense of the shape of the paper. Do Be Kind The basic premise of peer review is to encourage further writing. Have they cited all the relevant work that would contradict their thinking and addressed it appropriately? Take notes as you go. Identified Concern If you find - or already knew of - a very similar paper, this may be because the author overlooked it in their own literature search. Try to spot anywhere the paper might start to take you on a wild goose chase. Often this is where editors will want reviewers to state their recommendation - see the next section - but otherwise this area is best reserved for communicating malpractice such as suspected plagiarism, fraud, unattributed work, unethical procedures, duplicate publication, bias or other conflicts of interest. If you're following an informal report format you could structure your report in three sections: summary, major issues, minor issues. Ensure that your critiques are constructive and not offensive. It is not a failed project if they have not read everything you have, but it might need major revision if they are not engaging with specific scholarly conversations that you know are relevant. Are the authors presenting findings that challenge current thinking? This is an extremely important part of your job as a reviewer Avoid making critical confidential comments to the editor while being polite and encouraging to the author - the latter may not understand why their manuscript has been rejected. The authors should rewrite their Introduction and Discussion to reference the related literature, especially recently published work such as Darwin et al.
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How to write a thorough peer review