Referee Reports

This article discusses how to do a Referee Report.

Referee Reports are reports produced for academic journal editors by persons called referees. They contain the referee’s opinion on whether or not a paper submitted for publication is worthy of consideration by the editor and they also contain information for how the paper may be improved. Essentially, these reports function both as time saving devices for editors and also as advice and improvement references for academic writers and researchers.

A referee report should discuss several things:

  • Is the article being considered (“the article”) clear? Does the article have a clear hypothesis or research question? Is the language accurately used, correctly spelled, grammatically correct and so forth?
  • Is the article convincing? Is the conclusion quantitatively important or significant? Is the article methodologically sound? Is the conclusion robust or sensitive? Is the conclusion consistent or inconsistent with relevant literature?
  • Is the article interesting? Does the article build on a relevant body of literature, or ask a new sort of question, or does it merely reinforce what we already know?
  • Is the article important? Does the article have policy or business implications?

Here is an example of a referee report I’ve written.

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