Being someone's review bitch

Jun 07 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers], [Et Al]

At first I thought it was coincidence.

Then it kept happening.

Over and over, I kept getting the emails.

I have become a review bitch*.

A very influential scientist in my field clearly has me on their "suggested reviewer" list, which in some ways is flattering, but the trouble with this phenotype is that they are prolific publishers. Whereas it is nice to be reviewing for top-shelf journals on a regular basis, I'm starting to feel like a one trick pony here. Facing limited time and two reviews, I'm going to pick the review for a top ten journal over the society-level journal. At this rate, though, I'm going to be in an involuntary one-way relationship pretty soon.

I suppose I could break the cycle by trashing one of these papers, but this person's science is tight.

Wait, what's that? You have another submitted manuscript? I guess I'm not that busy this week.

Dude, fuck. Sigh.

*In the prison sense, not the derogatory towards women sense.

9 responses so far

  • anon says:

    Perhaps you can reject to review the paper, but suggest one of your advanced grad students or a postdoc as an alternative reviewer to give them some training with reviewing. My postdoc advisor have done that and it ended up being mutually beneficial (they had less papers to review and I gained some experience reviewing).

  • Namnezia says:

    Can I put you as a suggested reviewer?

  • Lab Rockstar says:

    Have you grad student review it instead. That's what my advisor does.

  • Genomic Repairman says:

    Big name journals usually don't like postdocs or trainees to be the official reviewers of papers. I know some PI's that hand them off to a very seasoned postdoc and then do a cursory inspection before rubber stamping, but never just leaving a top tier manuscript review in the hands of a postdoc. Let alone a graduate student.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    I've started suggesting Comrade PhysioProffe review my papers.

  • Joseph says:

    Can you decline or respond unavailable? I did 25 reviews last year (each 4 to 8 hours) and by the end I was rejected about 50% of reviews (and still got to 25). If you never say no, a problem I am working on, you get hammered.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I turn down plenty of reviews, but I don't have others do them under my name.

  • gerty-z says:

    I have some hot shit ready to submit. As requested, I have listed you as a possible reviewer. It is really awesome, so I know that it will be worth your time.

  • anon says:

    This is anon from 4:42 pm. I did not suggest to have your trainees do the reviews under your name, but to have the journal send them to your trainees. While top tier single name journals will not send a paper to a grad student or a postdoc, society level journals might. In my field, it is not completely unusual for postdocs to officially review submissions to the society-level journals.

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