Inscrutable Reviewers

In my work as a writing coach and editor for nursing faculty and doctoral students, I sometimes work with authors in interpreting inscrutable anonymous peer reviewers’ comments. As most of us know, the peer review process is not perfect, and we sometimes find that one reviewer says, ACCEPT, another says, REJECT, while a third says revise and resubmit. Sometimes al reviewers advise revision and resubmission but their revision suggestions are contradictory.

In an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Robert Giacalone (“The 5 Species of Journal Reviewers”) we are introduced to a taxonomy:

  1. The expert in everything.
  2. The insecure expert.
  3. The expert who should have written your paper.
  4. The expert who reveals his ignorance.
  5. The nasty reviewer.

The article is on line for subscribers.


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