), accept with minor edits (addressing typos, unclear sentences, or a small figure edit), accept with major edits (addressing bigger issues such as changes to introduction scope, interpretation of results, additional graphs or analyses) or reject (if the manuscript was not novel at all, not suitable for the scope of that journal, or contains plagiarism or other questionable practices).Most of the papers I have reviewed were classified as "accept with major edits"; I have selected the "reject" category less often.
), accept with minor edits (addressing typos, unclear sentences, or a small figure edit), accept with major edits (addressing bigger issues such as changes to introduction scope, interpretation of results, additional graphs or analyses) or reject (if the manuscript was not novel at all, not suitable for the scope of that journal, or contains plagiarism or other questionable practices).
At the end of my read-through, I try to structure my peer review into three parts.
It is important to number your remarks, making it easier for the authors to respond to each one of them.
Typically, a manuscript will be sent out to about 3 reviewers, so as a rule-of -thumb you should perform 3 times more reviews than the amount of manuscripts you typically submit per year. Once you have peer-reviewed for a journal, the journal will ask you again, but usually only once or twice a year.
The more papers you have published, the more requests you will get. I'll try to only have 2 ongoing peer reviews at the time; if I get more requests, I will turn them down until I have finished the previous ones.
If you think the science is good, it should be published.
There is always a need for additional experiments, but that can be put into another paper.Your peer review will go into the section labeled "comments to the authors" - often by simply copy/pasting it into the appropriate box.Even if I think a paper should be rejected, I like to share my thoughts about the manuscript here, so that the authors can improve their paper before submitting it somewhere else.It is a nice way to get recognition for all the work we peer reviewers do, mostly anonymously.In addition, it is great to compare my acceptance rate and length of peer reviews to that of others, and to have a feel for how many reviews other scientists perform, and for which journals. Peer review is a great way to become a better scientist.Often, you will get asked if one of your papers is listed in the references of the manuscript, so the new study will be in your field.You should only accept the peer review if you feel you have expertise in the topic of the paper, even if you are not an expert in all the techniques used.On the other hand, you do have the right to ask the authors to make primary data publicly available, perform some small and easy additional experiments or analysis, or change the layout and order of their graphs.Depending on the scope of the journal, it is however not reasonable in most cases to ask the authors to do large amounts of additional work.Once you have written your review, you will have to upload it into the journal's reviewer interface.Most of them will have a box where you can assign the paper to one of 4 categories: accept without edits (only to be selected if you reviewed The Perfect Paper!