Worst practices for peer reviewers

worst practiceThe post Best practice for peer reviewers was so successful and the discussions about it was so interesting that I used your comments and experiences to write this amusing new list on worst practices for pirate-reviewers:

  1. Check through the references and the topic style to try to identify the authors, and then search the web for similar papers published by them; if you don’t like them give them a hard time, but if it’s a mate, just accept it (and tell them!).
  2. Be intransigent and perfectionist with your evaluation, show them what a successful and dedicated scholar you are criticizing everything, from data to methodology and contribution.
  3. Reject any manuscript that is similar to anything you are currently working on.
  4. Always remember your personal bias. Anyone challenging your ideas or methodology needs to be rejected immediately or if only they do it slightly, add a comment to make them change their view.
  5. To please the editor, advise the authors to include enough references within it to previous editions of the journal.
  6. Suggest the authors to include your own papers in the literature review and references , at least two or three.
  7. Disagree with the style and grammar. Suggest it is sent to a professional editor for improvement (your friend will do it at a reasonable rate).
  8. And finally, if the editor requests you some suggestions of peer reviewers for your paper, take full advantage of this opportunity and think of your scholar network, preferable those friends outside your country and University.

With this kind of peer reviewers that we are made of, what sense does it make to base the journals quality on this system? But, are there any alternative models?

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5 Responses to Worst practices for peer reviewers

  1. “Reject any manuscript that is similar to anything you are currently working on.”

    I hope you meant “reject to review”.

  2. Mike says:

    Except for the items “3” or “6”, each practice can take place based on reasonable arguments.
    1. Authors’ identity is often known to the reviewer. And it is not irrelevant to know what they have published elsewhere.
    2. Rigor is necessary in scientific publications
    4. And what if the reviewer really disagrees with the author’s argument?
    5. If the journal is not cited in the work, the paper’s relevance can be questioned
    7. Some submissions are quite poorly written
    8. If the declining reviewers recommended only commonly known names, the inquiry would have no interest
    So, to me these six “practices” in their bad occurencies would boil down to “exaggerate normal practices”

  3. Pingback: Impact factor (II). Better publications? | How to publish in journals

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