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How to Write an Effective Referee Report and Improve the Scientific Review Process

14 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2016 Last revised: 13 Dec 2016

Jonathan Berk

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Campbell R. Harvey

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

David A. Hirshleifer

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business; NBER

Date Written: November 29, 2016

Abstract

Drawing on insights of current and past editors of top economics and finance journals, we provide guidelines for reviewers in preparing referee reports and cover letters for journals. Peer review is fundamental to the progress of science and we believe that fundamental changes in reviewing practices are needed to improve the integrity, quality, and efficiency of the publication process. Such changes will also allow scholars to reallocate time from navigating the publication process to developing innovative research.

Also see our companion paper: Preparing a Referee Report: Guidelines and Perspectives

Keywords: Referee report, Cover letter, Ethics, Conflicts of Interest

JEL Classification: A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1, G1, G1, I1, J1, K1, L1, M1, N1, O1, P1, Q1, R1, Y1, Z1

Suggested Citation

Berk, Jonathan and Harvey, Campbell R. and Hirshleifer, David A., How to Write an Effective Referee Report and Improve the Scientific Review Process (November 29, 2016). Duke I&E Research Paper No. 2016-47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2874625 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2874625

Jonathan B. Berk

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Campbell R. Harvey (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7768 (Phone)
919-660-8030 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative ( email )

215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

David A. Hirshleifer

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business ( email )

Irvine, CA California 92697-3125
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.uci.edu/dhirshle/

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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