How to Review a Manuscript, from MBoC

A 2011 editorial from the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC).

Any jackass can trash a manuscript, but it takes good scholarship to create one (how MBoC promotes civil and constructive peer review)

Key points:

  1. Review a manuscript only if you can do so objectively
  2. Review a manuscript only if you can do so in a timely manner
  3. Understand your role
  4. Recognize the authors’ efforts and the merits of the work while being clear in identifying faults
  5. Be critical, but be constructive
  6. Be judicious in suggesting additional work
  7. Leave it to future generations to judge a manuscript’s impact
  8. Be a champion for your field
  9. Remember that it is not your paper
  10. Be a good role model
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