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The Paper Reviewing Process

The Review Process

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What do you consider when deciding whether to accept an invitation to review a paper?

Grad school survival advice from Nick Feamster and Alex Gray
Once you’ve agreed to complete a review, how do you approach the paper?
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Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read. Avoid citing other authors in this section. Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers. If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise. Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself. A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author.

More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas.

It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics.

The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order. All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral.

The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other.

Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.

Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper.

Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place. You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.

Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible.

Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page. Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e.

This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e.

Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e.

Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.

To be honest, I was excited to have this opportunity to examine the literature in depth and to create something useful out of it. Our topic was caspase substrates, a diverse group of proteins essential for programmed cell death and thus important to our understanding of how to kill cancer cells.

I would have to assess the limits imposed by the journal 30 pages, six months as well as my own limits and the necessity to balance the writing project with lab work that was essential to finishing my Ph. Narrowing the scope of the article to conform to these boundaries was perhaps the biggest challenge of this process. Knowing that I work better when I focus on one project at a time, I spent the next two months carrying out all of my regular lab work while only pondering the review article and skimming the literature when I had time.

After that, I transitioned to full-time reading and writing. Afternoons I often spent writing at my apartment or at the library on campus. The process is far from perfect, and the outcome of the process is neither validation nor condemnation of your work. How you react—and how you adapt your research or follow through on it after the acceptance or rejection —is far more important to long-term success.

There are some significant distinctions between reading papers vs. When reading a paper for your own enrichment, your goal is to gather information as quickly as possible. The goal of reviewing is different. A reviewer often has a large number of papers to process and is typically not deeply devoted to improving the content of any particular paper.

We would all like reviewers to make three passes through your paper submission —and, these are the instructions I would give, too, in an ideal world. Unfortunately, however, you will be lucky in many cases to get two thorough reads. Reviewing one paper vs. The paper review process can differ depending on who, exactly, is reviewing the paper. For example, as a Ph. Journal editors and program committee chairs often seek the help of external reviewers if they need a particular subject-matter expert to review a paper.

Later in your Ph. Sometimes a member of the program committee e. Look for a reason to accept the paper. Does it realize a great contribution or idea? Every paper is imperfect. The paper may have made an incorrect or imperfect assumption.

The experiments may not have been as thorough as you liked. The graphs may be difficult to read. Parts of the paper may be difficult to understand. These types of issues certainly reflect problems with a paper, but they do not necessarily constitute a reason to reject a paper if they do not affect the correctness or significance of the main underlying conclusion or contribution of the paper. Therefore, the first two questions I ask myself when reviewing a paper are: In fact, there has been a fair amount of documentation that, as reviewers, we are often quite terrible at predicting the merits of a particular piece of submitted work: Due to the subjective nature of this judgment, it is all the more important that your writing is clear , and well-matched to what a reviewer is looking for i.

Different conferences may have different value structures, and the chairs of any given conference may ask the reviewers to focus on different criteria when judging a paper. Regardless, there are some invariant questions that most reviewers would or at least should always consider, including:.

Not every publication venue is the same. Some venues are explicitly geared towards acceptance of early, incomplete work that is likely to generate discussion many workshops use this criterion for acceptance. Other venues favor contributions that constitute well-executed, smaller increments.

When reviewing a paper, either externally or as a member of a committee, your first question should be to consider the audience for the conference, workshop, or journal, and whether the likely audience for the venue would benefit from reading the paper. Often, scope can be and is broadly construed, so the key question really boils down to whether the likely audience for the paper will benefit from reading it. Your standards will and should vary depending on the venue for which you are reviewing a paper submission.

This will ensure some level of calibration, although it is still biased based on the set of papers that you are reviewing. Reading past proceedings of the particular journal or conference can also help you determine the appropriate standard to set for acceptance.

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Apr 06,  · How do I write a scientific review research paper? I have written a few review papers, and this is my approach. There are doubtless others that are equally effective, and some of these will be.

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The Paper Reviewing Process Posted: October 18, | Author: Nick Feamster | Filed under: advice, research, reviewing | Leave a comment Learning how to review papers not only (obviously) makes you a better reviewer, but it can also help you as an author, since an understanding of the process can help you write your paper submissions for .

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Writing a good review requires expertise in the field, an intimate knowledge of research methods, a critical mind, the ability to give fair and . What is the difference between a research paper and a review paper? This is my first attempt at writing a scientific paper and I am thinking of writing a review article. I want to know what is the exact difference between a research paper and a review paper.

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HOW TO WRITE THE PAPER. WHAT IS A REVIEW PAPER? The purpose of a review paper is to succinctly review recent progress in a particular topic. Overall, the paper summarizes the current state of knowledge of the topic. It creates an understanding of the topic for the reader by discussing the findings presented in recent research papers. Based on your review, provide suggestions for what research might be done next to further develop the progression of ideas you have summarized. Consult the following website for helpful hints on how to write a review paper.