Do you know how to referee a paper?

This is the question asked by Ai Lin Chun of Nature Nanotechnology , at the journal’s Nature Network forum.

She writes: “In the past year, a few people have ask ‘how do I referee a paper?’. It took me by surprise the first time I heard it mainly because it’s not something that has occurred to me before. It is clearly a valid question given it is not a subject taught in graduate school. Over time, we all seemed to have “learned” how to referee a paper by doing one for our supervisor(s) at some point. Should we be formally taught how to referee a paper? Or are we happy with the way things are?”

Please go to the forum to provide your comments, or do so here.

As regular readers of Peer to Peer may recall, the Nature journal’s peer-review pages include editors’ advice about what makes a good review and lists the essential and desirable criteria. Nature also runs a mentoring awards programme, the latest of which led a feature and to this editorial about good peer-review—there are several comments from readers, and, as ever, we welcome more. Last year’s peer-review debate, in which 22 authors write about various aspects of how the internet is changing or could change peer-review, also includes perspectives on this question, as does the “”">Ask the Nature editor" group on Nature Network, where we have been discussing peer-review in the forums.


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