Have you been invited to write a Report?
Here are some basic things we trust you will do:
Please promptly accept or decline the invitation
To make your life as easy as possible, the email invitation
you will have received contains simple one-click
actions to accept/decline the task. As a basic but effective
mark of respect to our authors, Fellows and editorial team
(and to help us minimize delays in processing submissions),
please respond promptly to any invitation you receive.
Comply with our conflict-of-interest rules
Conflict of interest is a serious matter, and you should ensure that you do not
transgress our rules. You should not referee if you have:
- published joint work with one or more of the authors in the last 3 years
- an ongoing collaboration with one or more of the authors
- a personal relationship with one (or more!) of the authors
- a hierarchical connection with one or more of the authors
- doubts or feel conflicted due to a close link between the work
refereed and your own work.
Note: in some fields, it is customary for extremely large numbers of
authors to publish jointly. In such cases, the co-authorship disqualifier can be relaxed,
and conflict of interest be assessed primarily on the basis of active collaboration.
If you feel that a conflict of interest exists, or if you have doubts, you should email our
editorial administration, explaining the matter.
Please deliver your Report in time
Following acceptance, you should provide a report within the allocated refereeing
period. It is preferable to deliver a shorter report within the expected time
than no report at all.
You can start writing your Report at any time and,
if other duties suddenly require your attention,
conveniently save it as a draft for later completion.
If you had accepted to send a Report, but subsequently decide not to proceed,
please send a communication to the Submission's Editor-in-charge
(you can do this from your personal page,
under the refereeing tab).
Do you wish to contribute a Report?
Perhaps you simply noticed an interesting manuscript currently under evaluation, or perhaps a colleague notified you of its existence via email or other means. You feel that your expertise could be useful to our editorial process.
Even if you have not been explicitly invited to referee by one of our Fellows, as a registered Contributor, you can still provide a Report.
You can simply follow the Contribute a Report on the manuscript's Submission page. Of course, you'll have to do this before the refereeeing deadline, and you'll have to comply with all our conflict-of-interest rules mentioned above.
What do we ask you in our Report form?
Our Report form is quite intuitive and straightforward, and can be easily filled
if you have already read and thought about the paper.
To be clear, when filling in a Report form, you will be asked for:
- your assessment of your qualification for refereeing this submission (form: choice field, from expert to ... not qualified!)
- your evaluation of the strengths of the submission (form: text area)
- your evaluation of its weaknesses (form: text area)
- your actual report in textual free-style form (form: text area)
- the list of changes you request to the authors
- your assessment of the validity, significance, originality and clarity of the submission (form: choice field, from top to poor)
- your assessment of the formatting and grammatical level of the submission (form: choice field, from perfect to mediocre)
- your recommendation, which can be one of:
- Publish (top 10% of papers in this Journal)
- Publish (top 50%)
- Publish (meets criteria of this Journal)
- Ask for minor revision
- Ask for major revision
You can make use of $\LaTeX$ mathematical formulas in the text areas, thanks to MathJax.
Note that only basic elements are available
(\$...\$ for inline equations, \ [ ... \ ] for on-line equations).
Before you write your Report
Writing your Report
identify the strong points of the paper
Start with the positive.
What did the authors (try to) do? What did they achieve?
Even if you end up being very critical of the work, your criticisms will
have much more credibility and convincing power if you make it clear that you have
given the authors a chance.
try to be constructive and put your fingers on points that could be improved
Nothing is perfect, and even for the better aspects of a paper, you might be
able to suggest ways in which things could be improved.
See "things to focus on while writing your report" for some ideas.
if any, note the weaknesses of the paper
Science thrives on constructive criticism. Your expertise is needed to
ensure that the papers which are published at SciPost achieve the highest-quality
end result achievable. If you have objections to the methods, results or conlusions
in the paper, it is your task as an expert to underline them.