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  How "formal" and complete do PhysicsOverflow reviews have to be?

+ 5 like - 0 dislike
I always thought one advantige of our Reviews section is among other things to make refereeing and judging papers more efficient and faster than how it can be done in journals. But when preparing an answer for the latest submission I have uploaded I just realize that I at least am not much faster than when doing it for a journal, probably due to the following question that bothers me: How "formal" and complete do we want individual answers to submissions (reviews) to be? Do they have to comply with the exactly same standard and form required for journal reviews? Or are some more "free style" partial answers that do not conclusively judge the paper as a whole, but deal only with (important enough) specific aspects be acceptable and nice to have too?
asked Jul 9, 2014 in Discussion by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ revision history ]
retagged Jul 11, 2014 by dimension10
We already have a few submissions, but I really think reviewing (answering) and discussing them should start now too! Maybe some examples, from @RonMaimon who said he could produce them rather easily, could help to "break the ice" ... ;-)?
Could the downvoter please explain in a comment or apropriate answer what he disagrees with? It would be good, if we could adopt the professional attitude of MathOverflow. There, people refrain from downvoting meta questions (if they are not spam, personal attacks, off topic nonsense, etc), but they write answers which can then be voted on instead. I mean in this particular case, it would be nice to post an answer if you think for example that PhysicsOverflow reviews should completely elucidate every aspect of the paper whereas partial answers that for example explain what is particularly nice about it, point out an error in the way of thinking or calculation, are not acceptable. Just casting a single unexplained downvote on this post which is intended to help the reviews business getting started, is really not helpful.

@Dilaton It was my downvote, sorry, removed. I was afraid the question would lead to constraints on how a review should or should not be too soon, leading to people being discouraged from posting reviews, and there isn't even a single review yet (which is surprising, given how enthusiastic many people were about the reviews section)! But I'm glad that Vladimir's and Ron's answers were upvoted.

Sorry for not explaining the downvote, I was then on an internet pack which was running out.

Hi Dimension10, thanks for the clarification ;-)

Yes, may question was by no means intended to put up any restrictions and rules on PhysicsOverflow reviews...

But I got the impression that people might be hesitant to write reviews and (partial) answers to submissions (it happend to me too), because it was not clear enough what the expected standard is. So I posted this questions in the hope that we can encourage partial reviews too, to finally get the business started. And that is what Ron did indeed in his nice answer.

I read the turbulence paper, and it looked super, but I found myself intimidated when going to click "correct" and "original", because I really wasn't 100% sure on either point! But I guess one should set one's insecurities aside and just write a damn review, and let the self-correcting process start.

2 Answers

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

I think that "free style" partial answers that do not conclusively judge the paper as a whole, but deal only with its important enough specific aspects are acceptable and nice too.

answered Jul 10, 2014 by Vladimir Kalitvianski (102 points) [ no revision ]
reshown Aug 21, 2014 by dimension10
+ 3 like - 0 dislike

Since we have about zero reviews now, I think that any kind of review will be acceptable, so long as it shows a significant attempt to grapple with the contents of the paper. I think a good review is something that shows how a calculation method can be extended, points out related literature that is not in the reference list, extends the paper with a nontrivial observation, to show importance, or gives a negative review with detailed explanation of what is wrong.

The quality will only improve once some sort of competition starts, but the first reviews will be setting a tone. But it shouldn't take ~4months as is sometimes standard on journals. Just my 2c. Agree with Vladimir too.

answered Jul 12, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,720 points) [ no revision ]

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