Article Abstract

How do I peer-review a scientific article?—a personal perspective

Authors: Giuseppe Lippi


Peer-review is an essential activity for the vast majority of credited scientific journals and represents the cornerstone for assessing the quality of potential publications, since it is substantially aimed to identify drawbacks or inaccuracies that may flaw the outcome or the presentation of scientific research. Since the importance of this activity is seldom underestimated by some referees, the purpose of this article is to present a personal and arbitrary perspective on how a scientific article should be peer-reviewed, offering a tentative checklist aimed to describe the most important criteria that should be considered. These basically include accepting the assignment only when the topic is in accordance with referee’s background, disclosing potential conflicts of interest, checking availability and time according to size and complexity of the article, identifying the innovative value of the manuscript, providing exhaustive and clear comments, expressing disagreement with a fair and balanced approach, weighting revisions according to the importance of the journal, summarizing recommendations according to previous comments, maintaining confidentiality throughout and after the peer-review process. I really hope that some notions reported in this dissertation may be a guide or a help, especially for young scientists, who are willing to be engaged in peer-review activity for scientific journals.