Each participant will receive two papers for review.
Format: The reviews should be pasted into the body of an email in plain text and sent to love (at) molgen.mpg.de with the subject line 'BREW review for lastname.pdf'.
Aim for within one page if you were to print the review using a word processor. More important than length is to address the questions and suggestions below.
Practically all papers submitted to scientific journals and conferences are peer reviewed, and one of the goals of BREW is to give an introduction to the review process. All participants will have their paper reviewed by two other participants. Unlike normal peer reviews, the reviewer is not going to give any recommendation regarding whether the paper is to be accepted or not (all papers are accepted), but the review report will be sent back to the author of the paper. The reviews are anonymous.
Below is a guideline for structuring a review of a research article, however can be adapted for reviewing a research proposal.
A review should start with a 5-10 sentence summary of what the paper is about, so that the editors and the authors can see that the reviewer has understood the paper.
You should put some work into understanding the papers you are reviewing, and try to write a good review report. If you are not familiar with the research field, read some of the references cited in the paper to get a better idea of what the paper is about. This may require a little effort on your behalf, but it will help expose you to methods and researchers that you might not otherwise encounter.
It is important to discuss what is good about a paper, as these are the parts which the author will want to highlight and expand in the revision. Aim to write as much about the strengths or parts that are most compelling as when discussing weaknesses of the paper.
Comprehensibility and maintaining the readers interest is critical throughout the paper. Did you understand the major points of the paper? Can you point out specific parts that are unclear, and possible ways to improve these?
Did the title and abstract appropriately summarize the article and catch your attention? Did the introduction sufficiently introduce the broad area of research? It is not helpful to say that you don't know anything about the research field. Instead, point out what is missing in the introduction if it is hard to figure out what the paper is about from the submitted text. Are the results presented in a comprehensible and relevant way, and are they compatible with the claims made in the discussion? Does the author discuss his or her findings in relation to relevant methods? Are strengths and weaknesses of the method or field presented, and do you agree with the conclusions? Do you think the author has focused on the correct problem definitions and methods? Does the paper contain information that is not relevant, and can you suggest possible improvements?