Nature Medicine includes an editorial entitled Why Review? that characterizes what makes a good journal reviewer (change “journal” to “sponsor” to consider their application to grant proposal reviewers):
- First, our reviewers know the journal.
- Good reviewers have the breadth of knowledge and objectivity to be able to determine whether a new finding will be of interest to a broad scientific readership or just to those in the field.
- And good reviewers are fair and thorough and provide detailed and constructive criticism, allowing authors to improve their papers.
- At the heart of the process, reviewers must have a passion for their area of research and the desire to help advance their field.
I appreciated the editor’s comment regarding the role of reviewer’s in protecting scientific integrity: “Propagating a wrong idea by publishing a half-baked paper in a high-profile journal can set a field back and waste both time and resources.”