Nature Editor: How to smooth the review process

Let reviewers focus on the substance of your work, not the style or presentation.

#PeerReview #GoodWriting #Publications

It began as a twitter thread. Now, Nature editor Michael White, has outlined some simple stepsthat will smooth the peer review process of your next article.

“I’ve managed the review of more than 1,000 climate-science papers at Nature over the past 11 years. My decision of whether to send a paper out to review is guided by the novelty and importance of the research, not by how the work is presented,” writes White.

“But there are many aspects of presentation that routinely lead to confusion or misinterpretation and generate substantial delays in the review process,” he writes.

White provides a fairly comprehensive list of the most common stumbling blocks that he has come across over the years.

Read More: Five things to avoid in scientific writing

 Among White’s tips, are:

  1. Improve the visual presentation of the text: Use big fonts, line spacings, continuous line numbers, and inline figures and tables.
  2. Avoid avoid and avoid: Subjective wording, acronyms and abbreviations, and ‘directionless’ words such as “influence”.
  3. But do use: a “declarative title” that captures some aspect of your conclusions/observations.
  4. Present your data with as much clarity as possible: Show uncertainties, include statistics, and provide underlying data.
  5. Tidy up your figures: Consider more accessible colour schemes in figures, remove any unnecessary information from figures, and keep captions short.

Read the full article at Nature.


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