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How to conduct peer review?

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On the occasion of the Peer Review Week 2016, I have asked our editors at De Gruyter Open about their thoughts on peer review. Dafydd Gibbon from the Editorial Advisory Board of Open Linguistics generously shared with me his ‘inner guidelines’ which he follows working as a reviewer. I think they are valuable enough to be shared with a bigger audience. So here they go!

A. Be constructive and helpful. A review is not an opportunity for venting your frustrations, even if the author does not cite you.

B. List the goals of the paper.

C. Summarise the paper in reasonable detail, noting whether the structure is appropriate, and with constructive comments on the different sections and suggestions for further information and references (with full bibliography information), if appropriate.

D. State whether the goals of the paper have been achieved. If they have been fully achieved, say so. If not, say why not, and what could be done to achieve them.

E. Add comments on practical issues like typos, formatting, use of English, etc.

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