Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I love being a Scientist

This morning I was invited to review a paper on testis evolution.

Best. Birthday present. Ever.

I, of course, said yes. In addition to being super-interesting, I really love the process of peer review. I am still wondering how important the one-way anonymous aspect really is. And, I would really prefer if the reviewers comments were available alongside the paper, if it is accepted. There are some journals that do this, but it is far from common practice. In addition to giving some context, making reviewer comments available could also help get discussion going, on a website.

But, for now, I'll just be happy to participate in the process. Woot!!


EllenQ said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Having relatively recently completed the process of a mostly open review where my name would be published as a reviewer at the end of the article but (I don't think) the authors knew who I was at the time, it does change things a bit, but mostly in a good way. I can imagine some people being dismissive ("ugh, I'm not responding to your comments because you are just a postdoc") but for me it made me even more likely to be as constructive and helpful as possible. I like to think of myself as a person who reviews with an eye towards making it better for the end reader, but I have also been so frustrated that I just gave up on trying to improve papers when I was anonymous and there were gaping flaws that were going to render everything else moot.

mathbionerd said...

I agree. I think people would be more constructive, in general, if they knew their names would be released with publication. And, I think the concern about not responding to specific criticisms due to the status of the reviewer would, in the end, only matter if the Editor allowed the authors to ignore them. And, since the Editor is the one who chose the reviewers, hopefully the reasonable comments would be respected, regardless of who made them.

Perhaps it should be half-open, where, if the Editor decides to reject a manuscript, the reviewers' names are not shared. That would avoid "bad blood".