Then I look at how convincing the results are and how careful the description is. The parts of the Discussion I focus on most are context and whether the authors make claims that overreach the data. I want statements of fact, not opinion or speculation, backed up by data.
Then I look at how convincing the results are and how careful the description is. The parts of the Discussion I focus on most are context and whether the authors make claims that overreach the data. I want statements of fact, not opinion or speculation, backed up by data.Tags: Seven Fund Student Essay CompetitionShort Essays On Abraham LincolnDiversity Essay SecondaryProhibition Essay IntroductionCollege Admission Essay Format ExampleIrish Useful Phrases EssaysSolving Word Problems Strategies
I usually consider first the relevance to my own expertise.
I will turn down requests if the paper is too far removed from my own research areas, since I may not be able to provide an informed review.
As junior scientists develop their expertise and make names for themselves, they are increasingly likely to receive invitations to review research manuscripts.
It’s an important skill and service to the scientific community, but the learning curve can be particularly steep.
I see it as a tit-for-tat duty: Since I am an active researcher and I submit papers, hoping for really helpful, constructive comments, it just makes sense that I do the same for others.
So accepting an invitation for me is the default, unless a paper is really far from my expertise or my workload doesn’t allow it.That makes things a lot harder for editors of the less prestigious journals, and that's why I am more inclined to take on reviews from them.If I've never heard of the authors, and particularly if they're from a less developed nation, then I'm also more likely to accept the invitation.I read the digital version with an open word processing file, keeping a list of “major items” and “minor items” and making notes as I go.There are a few aspects that I make sure to address, though I cover a lot more ground as well.Unless it’s for a journal I know well, the first thing I do is check what format the journal prefers the review to be in.Some journals have structured review criteria; others just ask for general and specific comments. I almost never print out papers for review; I prefer to work with the electronic version.(In my field, authors are under pressure to broadly sell their work, and it's my job as a reviewer to address the validity of such claims.) Third, I make sure that the design of the methods and analyses are appropriate. I also pay attention to the schemes and figures; if they are well designed and organized, then in most cases the entire paper has also been carefully thought out.First, I read a printed version to get an overall impression. When diving in deeper, first I try to assess whether all the important papers are cited in the references, as that also often correlates with the quality of the manuscript itself.Do the hypotheses follow logically from previous work? To what extent does the Discussion place the findings in a wider context and achieve a balance between interpretation and useful speculation versus tedious waffling? (Then, throughout, if what I am reading is only partly comprehensible, I do not spend a lot of energy trying to make sense of it, but in my review I will relay the ambiguities to the author.) I should also have a good idea of the hypothesis and context within the first few pages, and it matters whether the hypothesis makes sense or is interesting. I do not focus so much on the statistics—a quality journal should have professional statistics review for any accepted manuscript—but I consider all the other logistics of study design where it’s easy to hide a fatal flaw.Mostly I am concerned with credibility: Could this methodology have answered their question?