Publish or Perish! Scientists publish huge numbers of papers each year, as shown in the infographic taken from the latest issue of Nature magazine. Most must pass through trial by fire, more benevolently known as Peer Review.. one of those unpaid, thankless jobs that we scientists agree to take on, mostly out of guilt. This collection of reviewer comments compiled by the editors of Environmental Microbiology will lighten my holiday task. 🙂
• Season’s Greetings! I apologize for my slow response but a roast goose prevented me from answering emails for a few days.
• Reject – More holes than my grandad’s string vest!
• The writing and data presentation are so bad that I had to leave work and go home early and then spend time to wonder what life is about.
• I agreed to review this manuscript whilst answering e-mails in the golden glow of a balmy evening on the terrace of our holiday hotel on Lake Como. Back in the harsh light of reality in Belfast I realize that it’s just on the limit of my comfort zone and that it would probably have been better not to have volunteered.
• I started to review this but could not get much past the abstract.
• Merry X-mas! First, my recommendation was reject with new submission, because it is necessary to investigate further, but reading a well written manuscript before X-mas makes me feel like Santa Claus.
• Ken, I would suggest that EM is setting up a fund that pays for the red wine reviewers may need to digest manuscripts like this one. (Ed.:this excellent suggestion was duly proposed to the Publisher. However, given the logistical difficulties of problem-solving within narrow time frames,combined with the known deleterious effect of transport on good wine, a modification of the remedy was adopted, namely that Editors would act as proxies for reviewers with said digestive complaints.)