A quick guide to writing a solid peer review

  D     Writing clear, comprehensive and balanced reviews for submitted manuscripts is an important task for all scientists who are at the same time producing manuscripts for publication and assessing manuscripts from colleagues. Here, as an introduction to how Annals of Forest Science wishes reviews to be conducted, we produce the abstract of a paper published in the ESA bulletin some time ago, as well as the link to the full paper.

Dear reviewers of Annals of Forest Science, do not hesitate to use this paper it as a guideline for preparing your reviews of manuscripts submitted to our journal.

Kimberly A. Nicholas and Wendy Gordon 2011. A Quick Guide to Writing a Solid Peer Review. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 92:376–381.

Abstract: Scientific integrity and consensus rely on the peer review process, a defining feature of scientific discourse that subjects the literature forming the foundation of credible knowledge in a scientific field to rigorous scrutiny. However, there is surprisingly little training in graduate school on how to develop this essential skill [Zimmerman et al., 2011] or discussion of best practices to ensure that reviewers at all levels efficiently provide the most useful review. Even more challenging for the novice peer reviewer is that journals also vary widely in their review guidelines. Nonetheless, the goals of peer review are crystal clear: to ensure the accuracy and improve the quality of published literature through constructive criticism. To make the peer review process as efficient and productive as possible, you may want to consider a few useful approaches to tackling major steps throughout your review, from contemplating a review request and reading and assessing the manuscript to writing the review and interacting with the journal’s editors (see Figure 1). These tips are particularly relevant for graduate students or other first-time reviewers, but they may also be useful to experienced reviewers and to journal editors seeking to enhance their publication’s processes.

See the full paper in the ESA Bulletin

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