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The dark side of the peer review process

Amidst the relentless roll-out of annual roundups (and of course we'll be doing it too), a post at Boing Boing caught my attention: Apparently every December the journal Environmental Microbiology publishes a list of funny and/or snarky comments from participants in the peer review process. This is one list that I've not seen before. (Who would have thought reviewing research would provoke so many existential crises?) Here's a small sampling:

  • The biggest problem with this manuscript, which has nearly sucked the will to live out of me, is the terrible writing style.
  • The writing and data presentation are so bad that I had to leave work and go home early and then spend time to wonder what life is about.
  • Always dear EMI takes care of its referees, providing them with entertainment for the holiday time in between Xmas and New Year. Plus the server shows, as usual, its inhuman nature and continues to send reminding messages. Well, between playing tennis on the Wii, eating and drinking, I found time and some strength of mind to do this work.
  • The lack of negative controls... results in the authors being lost in the funhouse. Unfortunately, I do not think they even realize this.
  • Reject - More holes than my grandad's string vest!

And, of course, some appear quite kind as well:

It is always a joy to review manuscripts such as this. Well-conceived, well executed, well edited. Clean. Pristine. From start to finish.

Via Boing Boing

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