Peer reviewing tips
To further strengthen your peer review report and ensure it helps authors advance their work, you can also check out the tips below:
Read the article multiple times
Read the full text of the article and view all associated figures, tables, and data.
This first reading will help you form an initial overall impression of the manuscript and start thinking whether your eventual recommendation will be to accept or reject it. You should take notes while reading the paper so that you can start working on your report shortly after.
In cases where articles are particularly long or complex, you should expect to read the paper at least twice.
Be thorough and specific
A peer review report should discuss the article in full and individual points, demonstrating your understanding of the article’s core elements, such as the research question and methodology. Plus, your comments should contain as much detail as possible, with references where appropriate, so the authors can address any issues fully.
Consider the statistics
It’s helpful if you comment on the number of replicates, the controls, and the statistical analyses. This information is crucial for understanding how robust the outcome is.
Organize your comments
When listing your specific concerns, separate them into ‘major’ and ‘minor’ points and consolidate the most minor points if your list is very long.
Be constructive in your criticism
Do not hesitate to include any concerns or criticisms you may have in your review; however, remember to do so constructively and respectfully. Review as you’d wish others to review your work and ensure that your comments focus on the scientific content of the article in question rather than the authors themselves.
Especially in cases where you have identified major flaws, and will recommend major revisions or the rejection of a paper, you should end your report with an encouraging tone to motivate the authors to address your feedback. Don’t hesitate to provide positive feedback in your peer review comments. If a paper you’ve asked to review is excellent, make sure to say so and explain why.