- Is the research original, novel and important to the field?
- Has the appropriate structure and language been used?
- Is it really a summary?
- Does it include key findings?
- Is it an appropriate length?
- Is it effective, clear and well organized?
- Does it really introduce and put into perspective what follows?
- Suggest changes in organization and point authors to appropriate citations.
- Be specific – don’t write “the authors have done a poor job”
- Can a colleague reproduce the experiments and get the same outcomes?
- Did the authors include proper references to previously published methodology?
- Is the description of new methodology accurate?
- Could or should the authors have included supplementary material?
Results and discussion
- Suggest improvements in the way data is shown
- Comment on general logic and on justification of interpretations and conclusions
- Comment on the number of figures, tables and schemes
- Write concisely and precisely which changes you recommend
- List separately suggested changes in style, grammar and other small changes
- Suggest additional experiments or analyses
- Make clear the need for changes/updates
- Ask yourself whether the manuscript is worth to be published at all
- Comment on importance, validity and generality of conclusions
- Request toning down of unjustified claims and generalizations
- Request removal of redundancies and summaries
- The abstract, not the conclusion, summarizes the study
References, tables and figures
- Check accuracy, number and citation appropriateness
- Comment on any footnotes
- Comment on figures, their quality and readability
- Assess completeness of legends, headers and axis labels
- Check presentation consistency
- Comment on need for colour in figures