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25 Brutally Honest Peer Review Comments From Scientists

When scientists want to publish their work, other scientists have to review it to make sure it's up to scratch. Sometimes they are mean. (Via Shit My Reviewers Say.)

The rest of this review operates from the assumption that this paper is a sincere attempt at scientific evidence and argument.
This paper is desperate. Please reject it completely and then block the author's email ID so they can't use the online system in the future.
This needs some rephrasing – it's loaded with the assumption that there is a real world.
Words are used inappropriately – I count, for example, 13 instances of 'unique', but it is used correctly only once.
I am afraid this manuscript may contribute not so much towards the field's advancement as much as toward its eventual demise.
I am generally very happy to provide extensive suggestions and comments on manuscripts, but this submission was an absolute waste of my time.
While it unfortunately doesn't make for a flashy title (which the authors like more than British tabloids do), there is a simple alternative interpretation of their results.
This would be a stronger article if its tone were less polemical and more analytical. The following paragraph, for example, will strike many of your readers as shrill. They will stop reading the article and throw it into the fire.
The examples are stale – the method is not exciting. There is nothing much here.
This paper adds nothing to the existing knowledge of the subject.
I understand that Wikipedia is not the best source for my information, however, I don't have access to the [peer-reviewed] literature you cite, and based on the information from Wikipedia, your hypothesis breaks down.
This, of course, is disingenuous if not unethical.
I don't believe in simulations.
That gives a ridiculous demonstration where authors forgot science and reinvent history (…) the authors don't have a clue of what was already done in the literature.
I am constructing this review more in a stream of conscious thought than a systematic assessment.
The figures are dishonest and not all that useful.
It is early in the year, but difficult to imagine any paper overtaking this one for lack of imagination, logic, or data – it is beyond redemption.
Studies undertaken in such a manner as presented here degrade all science by giving the semblance of legitimacy to illegitimate work.

See more brutally honest reviews at and @YourPaperSucks.