Thinking of submitting to a journal?  Just received feedback on an article submission that was completely USELESS?  You aren’t the only one!

In the The Chronicle – July, 2013, Erik Schneiderhan gets courageous and shares feedback he received from a well-known journal: “None of the reviewer’s comments were helpful in guiding me on how to make the article better. And there was a snarky undercurrent in the review’s tone that just made me feel bad.”

We need this to change!  How? Professors with students (maybe some crying) who have received nasty reviews – write a letter to the journal, be an advocate for change and let the editors know.

Students – you too can help make reviews better!  Remember the feeling of rejection without guidance (which I’m assuming you have had at least once) when you go to review a paper.  Are your comments helpful?  Are they constructive?  Or, are you writing something so vague that the author receiving the review is left in the dark wondering what exactly “passable prose” means? 

You can also ask your professors to bring you in on their reviews. Watch how they work, notice what they write, and make suggestions so the author on the receiving end is getting quality information.

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