Editor of Trends in Biotechnology, Cell Press
This module will explain what an editor looks for in a review of a review and what your comments should focus on to be as helpful to the authors and the editor as possible. It will explain what the reviewer selection process looks like for Cell Press’ Trends review journals and why you should accept that invitation to review a review article.
Submitting a review
Recently, I have tried to record some of them on publons.com . Check out my account on publons, here. I have also served as an Editorial board member for some journals, like Applied Soft Computing, by Elsevier (I.F. 3.5). I got many certificates, appreciations, and awards for my reviews and feedbacks for those papers I reviewed. Over these years, my experience in the review has been improved gradually. I reached to an understanding that, reviewing, criticizing, giving feedback to others’ works is an art. Of course, you may know this already, but I reach it by experience. Now, I can confirm that my first review in 2011 is not like my review a few days ago. Over the time, you become more stable and able to give wise advice. In fact, while I’m trying my best in this process, sometimes, as an academic, I’m suffering from “bad” review on my papers. Of course, by “bad” review I don’t mean that they reject or ask for a revision, but because the reviewer (sometimes the associated editors also) does not know to criticize or give feedback in principle. Now, I know most of the journals are providing guides for reviewers, among other guides; however, these guides are too formal, and they don’t contain real advice. Combining all these reasons, I decided to write down those points that I recognized during this time and put them all together to form some informal guidelines from my experience. I will categorize them into three categories, (1) Accepting a paper to review, (2) Reviewing a paper, and (3)Submitting a review. I will update these guidelines from time to time when I recognize some new issues.
- Give positive feedback first. Authors are more likely to read your review if you do so. But don’t overdo it if you will be recommending rejection
- Briefly summarize what the paper is about and what the findings are
- Try to put the findings of the paper into the context of the existing literature and current knowledge
- Indicate the significance of the work and if it is novel or mainly confirmatory
- Indicate the work’s strengths, its quality and completeness
- State any major flaws or weaknesses and note any special considerations. For example, if previously held theories are being overlooked
Even if you are coming to the opinion that an article has serious flaws, make sure you read the whole paper. This is very important because you may find some really positive aspects that can be communicated to the author. This could help them with future submissions.
A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography—see the bottom of the next page), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries
A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. It’s usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher. Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question
Freedom of speech gives you the right to express yourself, but there’s a line between appropriate and inappropriate. At the extreme end, the law prohibits defamatory statements. This includes accusatory statements that are untrue or not yet proven to be true.
An important feature on Trustpilot is that you can edit your review to reflect a changed opinion or a resolved problem, or write a new review if you have a new or updated experience with the same company.