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It's the list that I wished I had access to when I started my first peer review.Here we go: As I am reading the manuscript for the first time, I will have a text editor open in which I immediately write down small comments on specific parts of the manuscript, such as a typo in line 15 or an unclear sentence in the introduction.It is a nice way to get recognition for all the work we peer reviewers do, mostly anonymously.
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.
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.
It took years of practice to be comfortable enough to suggest more serious edits to other people's manuscripts, such as flaws in the design of the study, lack of controls, and over-interpretation of results. To help the inexperienced peer-reviewer, I've made a list of general questions to ask when you are reading the paper.
Even now, many years and about hundred peer reviews later, I am still not always sure if my reviews strike the right balance between being critical and fair. Asking these questions should help you form an opinion about the paper, even if you have no idea where to start.), 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.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.Elisabeth Bik is a Research Associate at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University's School of Medicine.She received her Ph D at Utrecht University in The Netherlands and worked at the Dutch National Institute for Health and the St. When not in the lab, she can be found working on her blog microbiomedigest.com, an almost daily compilation of papers in the rapidly growing microbiome field, or on Twitter at @Microbiom Digest. It is the part of the scientific process where our peers will have a chance to review our work, check it, comment on it, and - most importantly - determine whether it's good enough to become a permanent part of the scientific legacy.At the same time, it is also one of the most dreaded parts of science, both for authors, whose work will be scrutinized or could be rejected by competitors, as well as for reviewers, whose inboxes are filled with a never-ending stream of peer review requests. There were not yet a lot of resources available online, it had not been part of my schooling, and I did not have a lot of experience in how to critically read a paper.The first time I was asked to review a paper, I was extremely honored (Finally! So I started out by pointing out some simple errors or typos.