The joy of peer review comments

Got your paper rejected? Don't worry, you're not the only one. And if you think the reviewers were unfair to you, read this. It will make you feel better.

Despite the criticism on the peer review system for scientific publications, most of us still believe it is an important step to improve the quality of published papers, and serves to catch errors, or even downright fraud.

So we expect reviewers to be analytical, factual and objective in their judgement. And usually, they are.

Peer review, or smear review?

But sometimes these objective reviewers turn out to be totally human, and let their emotions spill over in their comments. The result can be harsh and painful, and at the same time hilarious. That is: when it's not about you or your paper.

Twitter account @yourpapersucks is devoted to "collecting the finest real specimens of reviewer comments". It's a fun place to go when you just had your paper rejected, as it shows things can always be worse.

Want to see examples? How about these:

It's hard to believe that reviewers would consider it apporpriate to say these things in person to the authors. Don't get me wrong: I'm not in favor of soft reviews. But in order to get better publications there is no need to ridicule or humiliate authors. Hopefully this collection of review comments creates this awareness.

Meanwhile, we can be amazed by the comments and have a good laugh. Enjoy!

Did you get any such brutally honest review comments yourself? Share them below.