More on refereeing papers

Marc Bellemare of Duke responded to the refereeing discussion occurring in the econ blogosphere with his own list, which you can find here.  Very interesting reading.  I thought this point would be of interest not only to those starting to referee, but also those just beginning to write papers:

“Once you decide to get started on your review, read the title, the abstract, the introduction, and the conclusion of the paper. Do you have a good idea of what the authors are doing? Perhaps more importantly, are you convinced that it’s a worthwhile topic? If it’s an empirical paper, can you understand from the tables what relationships the authors are after? If you answer “No” to any of those questions, you should encourage the editor to reject the paper. This may sound harsh, but before submitting, authors should work hard on the “sell” of their paper, i.e., on convincing the reader that the paper is worth their time. It is true that a groundbreaking good idea that suffers from a bad sell deserves a second chance. The two, however, are rarely orthogonal to one another.”

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About Jake Wobig

I'm a graduate student in political science at the Universtiy of Nebraska - Lincoln.
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