Peer Review Week Open Forum



You should start with your supervisor, asking them to “help” them. As mentioned above, you should start watching the dedicated SfN webinars.

Tricks of the Trade: How to Peer Review a Manuscript


The best way for graduate students to get involved in peer review is to participate in the review process under the mentorship of their advisor(s). As mentioned in another answer, JN is working on a reviewer training program through our Associate Editors that will help get graduate students experience with the review process. There are also helpful videos on the peer review process on the eNeuro website.


There are no restrictions on the nationality of the editors at JNeurosci. Our editorial board has broad, international membership and we aim to represent our authors and the SfN membership, which are both international.


eNeuro is double blind.


No restriction. The board of reviewing editors is widely distributed worldwide, with gender balance.


Submitted question:

What are the pros and cons about double blind peer-review and in addition the need (or not) to give some sort of recognition to the reviewers? For example as Frontiers journals is doing by mentioning the reviewers names once the paper is published. Finally what is your opinion on ‘Publons’ initiative ( Thank you!


At eNeuro, the policy is explicitly designed to accept or reject papers based on the science presented and not to ask for many more experiments. At JNeurosci, we have put into place policies, such as a prohibition against online only supplemental figures, designed to limit reviewer requests for experiments that are not essential, but we do not have the same explicit policy against requests for more data as eNeuro. Our editors work hard to make judgement on whether requested data are essential to the paper, however.


The best way to be a constructive reviewer is to imagine that you are critiquing your own work. Look for the important new idea, and make sure that it is supported by the data. Find a way to convey what the excitement in the study might be, and then clearly state what would be needed to make the case for that exciting new scientific idea convincingly.


At eNeuro, we ask reviewers whether novel experiments require more than 2 months work. Reviewing editors are instructed to verify that all requested experiments are necessary. This is verified during the discussion process when making the synthesis.


I don’t see cons regarding the double blind process. In fact, Nature took on eNeuro, and now proposes it as an option. The names of the reviewers are published, except if reviewers specifically say no about it. We acknowledge reviewers work every year (listing the names of all reviewers), we highlight specifically good reviewers, and authors can upgrade automatically their ORCID account, which now includes the number of papers you reviewed and for which journal.


Submitted question:

What criteria strictly indicate rejection? When to ask for statistical evaluation?


What are your thoughts on results-free peer review?


Submitted question:

I am hoping to gain perspective on what is useful in a peer review. I have received and written reviews and sometimes find reviewer comments not constructive and hope to improve my ability to give constructive reviews.


At JNeurosci, we are strongly committed to blinded peer review. We believe that power differentials between authors and reviewers provide incentives that could bias the review process, even when the identity of reviewers is only revealed after acceptance of a manuscript. JN acknowledges every reviewer in print every year, but we believe that the process is best served by anonymity of reviewers. eNeuro uses double blind review and many authors appreciate the opportunity to have the science judged without definitive identification of the authors. It requires editorial work to assure that there are not references in the manuscript that would reveal the authors or their institutions, so because of the large number of submissions at JNeurosci, it is an initiative that would be time intensive to implement.


Again, check the webinars we made on this. The rule of thumb is easy. All you need to remember is that you are here to help the authors. Even if they did things wrong, tell them in a factual manner, and tell them what to do. You can be critical AND constructive. Build your review in the same way you would like to receive one for your paper. Something helpful.


Have you ever considered doing a scratch-and-sniff issue of the Journal?

Also, is it too early to get in line at the SfN meeting for Meet-the-Editors? I want to ensure I get a good spot. I have a lot of questions.

47 PM


If a paper is outside the scope of JNeurosci (no neural mechanisms included), it is likely to be sent back without review. Inadequately powered experiments are often grounds for rejection. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the statistical analyses and design. If they feel unable to ervaluate the statistics, they can check a box noting this. In that case, an additional reviewer might be invited to evaluate the statistical analysies.


Take a look at the resources on the eNeuro website, including videos on the peer review process. Tricks of the Trade: How to Peer Review a Manuscript


If a paper is outside the scope of the journal. We include questions regarding the validity of statistics. If there is an issue, we may call for a specialist.


The SfN webinars are designed just for that: