Refereeing

    Refereeing Job		Who reads report (the audience!)
    --------------		--------------------------------
- scholarly journal articles	editor and author(s)
- funded research proposals 	agency officials and proposer
- job recommendations		potential bosses and their bosses 

Are you the correct person.  Say NO if any of items below apply. 

   - you have a conflict of interest: working in the same area,
     applying for same funds, pushing another candidate for the job.

   - you are inexperienced: know little about the article's or
     proposal's field; you don't know the person's abilities.

   - you are likely to be excessively negative.  If so, beg off
     for some plausible reason.  Your report may hurt your reputation.
Always assume your report will not be confidential. Never write what you couldn't defend reasonably to affected person about work/ideas/ability. Make most negative comments by failing to praise or neglecting to mention.

Papers and proposals

  1. Supply your summary of the paper or the proposal. Usually this will be better than the abstract and will demonstrate you understand the work.

  2. Give a clear recommendation(s) [topic sentences]. In subsequent paragraphs explain reasons so that inexperienced editor can clearly understand.

  3. Comment directly on the quality of figures/tables and their captions.

  4. Reject papers that do not contain a least publishable unit. Reject proposals that do not contain substantial new ideas.

Letters of recommendation

  1. Explain in what way(s) you know individual. A short story helps.

  2. Answer any specific questions specifically.

  3. Give evidence for your opinions.

  4. Summarize your opinions, avoiding negative sentence at the end which will be interpreted as discreet "don't hire" opinion.


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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