How to do a (paper) review right

Nov 10 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

Ok, first from the editor:

Please note that both reviewers are demanding MAJOR and extensive revisions, so please keep this in mind if you decide to revise and resubmit the paper, as the revised version will be reevaluated by the original reviewers. Please be aware that this invitation does not guarantee eventual acceptance of your manuscript.

Translation: be afraid. be very afraid.

Then, the editor gives a page of logistics/style points/file considerations and demands. blah blah blah.

Let's get to the the reviews. No reviewer three, so reviewer two steps up to the plate:

Reviewer two:

Overall this was a weak manuscript for several reasons. 

Translation: just go die in a corner.

Followed by a page and half of detailed, single spaced criticism of everything.

Translation: don't give up your day job.

Potty: but this *is* my day job.

Reviewer: Find another.

Now on to Reviewer One:

The premise of this study is of great interest. The contribution of the blah blah aspects of the leg nerves to bunny hopping execution is an important question and would make an important contribution to the literature.

Translation: there is hope for you, yet, kiddo. But don't get cocky. Then follows a page and a half of detailed, single spaced criticism as to what is wrong. In detail. Excruciating detail.  Translation: do not fuck with me, monkey boy.


But why did I title this post "doing it right"? At the end of Rev 1's review was this line, that I missed the first time through (take home message: read the fine print):

I believe the authors are capable of filling in the necessary details to help readers place the significance of these findings into the larger picture of bunny hopping.

Thank you, Reviewer One. Thank you.

One response so far

  • eeke says:

    I always try to highlight strengths of a manuscript whenever I write reviews. There have been very few exceptions (where the paper should never have seen the light of day or made it outside the editor's computer), but generally even if it sucks, I try to find something good that the authors don't need to cry about. And then I go in for the kill...

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