Reviewers Guide

The following notes are to help improve the speed of processing manuscripts, thereby reducing the time between the BDJ receiving the manuscript and reaching a publishing decision. Although the notes are intended to be of more use to new referees, existing referees may also find them helpful. For convenience, the notes have been divided into three stages.

Stage 1: What you should receive from the BDJ

You should receive the following:

  • an e-mail inviting you to review the manuscript and web link to the manuscript
  • an author's version of the Referee Form (this will be sent to the authors anonymously)
  • any relevant low resolution diagrams, illustrations, etc.

Authors are concerned that papers are processed as quickly as possible, which means that we must ask our referees to be prompt in returning their report. If you are unable to meet the deadline, or feel unable to referee the manuscript, please decline the editor�s invitation. If you would like to suggest an alternative referee please e-mail manuscripts@nature.com quoting the MS number of the manusript.

Stage 2: Refereeing the paper

Please check the manuscript for the following:

  • Does the title represent the aims and conclusions?
  • Is the title accurate?
  • Are the contents of the manuscript relevant?
  • Is the manuscript accurate, and are the sections the right length?
  • Is the manuscript concise?
  • Are the aims clear, and does the research address the aims?
  • Are the tables and references relevant, or are there too many?
  • Is the work original and scientific (for scientific papers)?

You do not need to check grammar, spelling and style, although comments are always welcome. If you cannot understand any part of the manuscript, then please comment on this.

Stage 3: Submitting your report

When you enter your report it helps the authors if you can itemise points such as (1), (2), (3) etc (see example below). This enables authors to make corrections to their manuscripts and then return it for checking. If you wish to make general comments then please add these in paragraphs before and/or after the itemised points.

All comments are confidential, so your name will not be sent to the authors or other referees.

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