Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Association


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Academic Gems: Real Reviewer Comments


Every year the Journal of Environmental Microbiology publishes the year's funniest and oddest referee quotes. They're all real, and they're all pretty awesome.

The full paper is definitely worth reading, UofT subscribes to the library so you should have no trouble getting access to it. I'd attach it here but I might get us into trouble for copyright infringement.

Some choice excerpts:

"Done! Difficult task, I don’t wish to think about constipation and faecal flora during my holidays! But, once a referee, always and anywhere a referee; we are good boy scouts in the research wilderness. Even under the sun and near a wonderful beach."

"I have to admit that I would have liked to reject this paper because I found the tone in the Reply to the Reviewers so annoying. It may be irritating to deal with reviewer’s comments (believe me, I know!) but it is not wise to let your irritation seep through every line you write."

"The writing and data presentation are so bad that I had to leave work and go home early and then spend time to wonder what life is about."

Reference: Environmental Microbiology (2010) 12(12), 3303–3304

Credits: Colleen Bailey forwarded me this article after she came across it here.

Firas Moosvi