Featured Post

Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, April 18, 2011

How I Do A Peer Review

1. Usually, articles are sent to me as word documents, so I open up the document and begin to "track changes." I Correct some obvious typos and put comments directly into the document. The author of the article will never see these comments or corrections, but I find it helpful for myself. I also take "mental notes," sub-verbalizing what I think. What I'm doing is writing a draft the reader's report in my head. At this point I basically know whether it's an acceptance, a review and resubmit, or a rejection.

2. I get a good night's sleep.

3. The next day I draft a reader's report. I use my marginal comments and my mental notes as the basis of that. I outline the strengths of the paper, the exact points that need to be improved. I might make specific comments on style, organization, and argumentation. When I have the reader's report done, I make sure that it corresponds with my judgment of whether it's a resubmit, rejection, or acceptance. For example, I might have thought it's a resubmit, but reading my own report it's obvious that there are too many serious problems. Or, when I outline the strengths of the article, a reject might be promoted to a resubmit. I never change from acceptance to rejection or rejection to acceptance, though.

4. I get another good night's sleep.

5. I look at my reader's report the next day. Is this still what I think? Do I need to rewrite it to soften the criticism?

In some cases I can do 5 on the same day as 3. In other cases I do the entire report in one day, when the flaws of the article are so obvious that I can tell the editor what they are in much less time.

The most frequent kind of article I read are resubmits, followed closely by rejections and outright acceptances with only minor changes This means that I am usually help an author get hir articles into print.

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

It would be so wonderful if more reviewers were as conscientious as you are.