Respond to peer review in the spirit of helpfulness

  • Sari Palmroth Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment NC, Durham, USA
  • Danielle Way


Pre-publication peer review aims at improving the overall quality of scientific articles. All publishing scientists serve as reviewers and many as journal editors. Peer review works best when each partaker is able to view each article (they write, review or handle) through all of these roles. For an author revising a manuscript, this means responding to editors and reviewers’ comments respectfully, thoroughly and with evidence.


Awati M. (2013). How to respond to comments by peer reviewers.[Cited 9 September 2015]

Jinha A.E. (2010). Article 50 million: an estimate of the number of scholarly articles in existence. Learned Publishing 23: 258–263.

Halmes I. (2013). COPE Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers.[Cited 15 September 2015]

Hochberg M.E. (2000). Youth and the tragedy of the reviewer commons. Ideas in ecology and
evolution 3: 8–10.

Kangas A., Hujala T. (2015). Challenges in publishing: producing, assuring and communicating quality. Silva Fennica 49, article id 1304.

Smit C. (2006). Peer Review: Time for a Change? BioScience 56: 712-713. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2006)56[712:PRTFAC]2.0.CO;2

van Harten J. (2013). How reviewers look at your paper. [Cited 9 September 2015]

van Hilten L. (2015). 3 top tips for responding to reviewer comments on your manuscript. [Cited 10 September 2015]

Williams H.C. (2004). How to reply to referees’ comments when submitting manuscripts for publication. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 51: 79–83. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2004.01.049
Open lecture