Tips on reviewing manuscripts

  1. Avoid predatory journal list: https://beallslist.net/
  2. Keep your keywords up to date – remove and add as you go through your career
  3. Your job is not to nitpick and find minor issues like typos. You need to evaluate the quality of their scientific work and how it fits into the literature. Is it novel? Adding to the literature?
  4. Start with summary of their work, then break it down into major and minor comments (all numbered so it’s easy for the authors to address them)
  5. What to look out for?
    1. Limited convincing data? Flaws? Feels premature? Serious concerns in methodology and data analysis?
    2. Incomplete? Missing controls?
    3. Highly impactful and novel? Convincing, rigorously controlled and throough? Significant scientific value?
    4. Make sure you set the right tone
    5. Does it require professional English editing and proofreading?
    6. Be nice
    7. Clearly suggest methods or additional experiments to improve the analysis
    8. Minor comments: missing scale bar, labelling errors, statistical marker missing
    9. Overstate conclusions? Make sure the paper title matches the findings

Useful Links:

http://www.culhamlab.com/how-to-review-a-paper-or-a-grant/
https://www.elsevier.com/connect/reviewers-update/ten-tips-for-a-truly-terrible-peer-review
https://www.journals.elsevier.com/applied-soft-computing/news/tips-and-advice-when-you-review-a-scientific-paper
https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2016/09/how-review-paper
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00264-020-04504-1
https://researchintegrityjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41073-020-00096-x
https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2020/04/how-tell-whether-you-re-victim-bad-peer-review
https://medscicommunications.com/2020/09/30/the-best-worst-reviewer-comments/

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