Friday 1 March 2013

Referee reports

What is the better kind of referee report: a five line acceptance or a two page rejection?

If I get the first type, I tend to feel kind of disappointed. If the referee had only five lines to write, it means that you probably did not have anything interesting to say anyway and may as well not have done it at all.

But if someone takes the time to actually write two pages trying to dump everything on you that they can think of, then you know you are doing something interesting...


Jan Jensen said...

Funny, I just had a conversation with one of my students about this topic today.

Shouldn't your goal always be to get the first kind of review? i.e. write a paper that clearly and exhaustively discusses all relevant points in a convincing fashion, so that the only appropriate response of a reviewer is "looks fine, publish without delay"?

Felix said...

my point is that any new idea will cause some opposition. and everything where you can say in two sentences that it is obviously right may not be much different from things other people have already done

but of course it depends on the precise content. i am talking about attempts to find some vaguely related problems, not anything actually pertaining to the core statements of the paper

all i am saying is that it is not necessary bad to get such a report depending on what there is "between the lines". but of course I also prefer positive statements :)