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One thought on “Question of the month- peer review”

  1. [1] Reviewers must be trained. Too many reviews translate to “you didn’t study what I am interested in”, and too many reviewers just look for individual things to criticize rather than judging the work. Perhaps a form, such as you receive to review a grant, could be made available. [2] Authors should be anonymous. Of course, sometimes reviewers will know or be able to find out who the authors are, but often enough reviewers will be forced to judge the science on its own merit rather than what they assume of a particular lab. This will be especially true if [3] more post docs and even graduate students are reviewers, because they will have more time and more motivation to be thorough and fair – as long as they are trained. [4] There needs to be a forum for addressing obviously biased, uninformed, or irrelevant criticism. If the web has taught us anything it is that people will rely on emotion rather than reason if they can hide behind anonymity. The forum/ombudsperson has to be separate from the editor who needs to maintain working relationships with reviewers.


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