Revised Reviewer Instructions

To continue with the changes at GEMS, the reviewer instructions are also a bit different than they have been in the past. At the GEMS login page, there is a link across the top called “Reviewer Instructions.” I encourage everyone, no matter how experienced you are with reviewing papers for JGR Space Physics, to visit this page and get up to speed on the latest reviewing criteria, guidelines, and tips.

To quickly summarize, referees are now asked to answer four questions with drop-down menu options. They are:

  • Is the paper significant and convincing?
  • Do the methods and analysis support the conclusions?
  • Is the referencing appropriate?
  • Is the presentation high quality?

For each of these questions, there are several possible answers ranging from a strong “yes” to a definitive “no.” You will also be asked for your overall assessment and recommendation regarding the paper (from “publish as is” to “reject”). There are several other questions you also need to answer about whether the paper is worthy of highlight in the Research Spotlight section of Eos or if a figure in it is worthy of the Image Carousel at the top of the journal home page.

After this, you will see two comment boxes for uploading your formal review. You can still upload a file, if you so choose, rather than cutting and pasting into the text box. The Reviewer Instruction page lists a series of questions that we would really like you to address in your formal review. In addition (or as part of these answers), please elaborate on your answers to the four questions listed above, whether complimentary or critical, in your formal review.

We really appreciate your time and effort to referee papers for JGR Space Physics. We love to get thorough and thoughtful reviews and they help us tremendously in assessing the paper and making a decision on publication. Furthermore, we really like to get details about what you liked in the paper. While the criticisms and suggestions for improvement are essential, pointing out the good aspects of the paper and providing supporting text to defend that appraisal is also very useful to us.

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3 thoughts on “Revised Reviewer Instructions

  1. I really appreciate the effort you have made to serve and support the space physics community by publishing the best papers in JGR. Nevertheless, do you think that the first question is not in contradiction with the fourth question?
    – Is the paper significant and convincing?
    – Is the presentation high quality?

    If a paper is significant and convincing, will you reject it because of formal reasons? Is a low quality presentation of significant results (perhaps a scientific breakthrough) less important than
    a publication of formally perfect, but scientifically low level or average work?

    Bw. Zoltan

  2. Good questions. We can and do reject manuscripts based on English usage and/or overlap with existing papers. This usually happens before we even send it out for review. Usually, the correction is quickly made and the paper is resubmitted. For your last question…correct me if I misunderstand, but I think you asking if we prioritize these questions. In general, no. I think that all 4 questions need to be answered with a definitive “yes” before publication. That said, if a study represents a big scientific breakthrough but the presentation is subpar, then I would hope the editor would work with the authors to make it publication worthy.

  3. Pingback: New Info in Reviews | Notes from the JGR-Space Physics Editor-in-Chief

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