How to reject a paper without knowing what you’re talking about

Just stumbled on this terrific “ironic” guide for peer reviewers who want to reject a paper but lack the statistical expertise to actually come up with valid criticisms. It’s in a neuroscience journal, but it’s actually universally relevant (there’s no technical neuroscience material). A great compilation of some very common statistical misunderstandings (e.g., if you think that statistically-significant results from small samples are especially unsafe, you’ve got it precisely backwards). Also a very sharp and funny–and more than a little true–satire on the back-and-forth of the peer review process. An absolute must-read.

HT downwithtime

2 thoughts on “How to reject a paper without knowing what you’re talking about

  1. Excellent find Jeremy, even if the author has confused irony with biting sarcasm. Of course, it will fall on completely deaf ears in terms of anything actually changing in the broken peer review process.

  2. “On the bright side, the authors did not resort to the usual anecdotes that beguile handling editors. Responses that one is in danger of eliciting include things like:

    “Response: We suspect the reviewer is one of those scientists who would reject our report of a talking dog because our sample size equals one!”

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