Peer Review

How to make your article easy to review - Part 2

Tips and advice from experienced reviewers on what to look out for before submitting your article

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In part 2 of our series on making your article easy to review, we hear from Dr. Maria A Auger from University of Oxford…

Time for ReviewAs a non-native English-speaker, my top piece of advice would be to ask a native English speaker to check your article. It’s very common to find typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar in articles, especially from non-native English authors (like me!). Don’t expect reviewers to correct these.

Pay attention to the quality (or clarity) of the figures. These are sometimes not clear enough, which makes it difficult to observe specific features. I would strongly advise authors to use the maximum resolution possible, even for their first submission.

In relation to the bibliography, I often see references not showing up in CrossRef due to mistakes or typos in the author’s name or the name/year/issue of the journal or article in question. Please check each of them before submitting. Anything that delays a reviewer from doing his/her work, ultimately leads to a delay for the author in getting their paper published.

Staying on the bibliography, recently, I’ve also seen encountered a lot of Chinese references. While some of them are available on the internet (but written in Chinese…), others are not e.g. PhD thesis, internal reports or seminars. I encountered something similar with a Russian manuscript which had a lot of references in Russian. My advice for authors is to carefully check the list of references and try to include documents that are electronically available. As for the language, I would advise to match (as much as possible) the language of the publication journal. For me, the list of references is essential, not only in the reviewing process but also to enrich the document for future readers.

On a final note, I think the Guides for Authors for any journal should never be overlooked. The tips for authors here tend to be very well summarized. Read them and check that you meet the requirements. At least that’s what I try to do when I’m an author!

To view part 1 of this series, (by Dr. Alexandru T. Balaban), click here >>

Author biography

Maria AugerDr. Maria A Auger is a materials scientist with an interdisciplinary background. She finished a degree in Fundamental Physics and a PhD in Applied Physics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. After teaching and researching in Spanish institutions such as Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), National Centre of Metallurgical Research (CENIM-CSIC) and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, she is now a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Atom Probe Group at the Department of Materials, University of Oxford.

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