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REM Highlights

Peer Reviews: the life-blood of the scientific process
A look at REM Peer Review Guidelines 

Our goal at Rangeland Ecology and Management (REM) is to help authors make their manuscript the best scientific contribution possible.  Peer reviews are the life-blood of the scientific process.  The Editorial Board sincerely appreciates everyone for helping with the review process.  Here are a few questions you may ask yourself about a manuscript you are reviewing. 

Is the topic introduced well and appealing to a wide audience?  Does the introduction provide a literature review and lead the reader to a specific hypothesis?  Do the authors provide a hypothesis?  Is there a case or rationale made for the hypothesis?  Do they provide the theoretical basis for the research?  Is it novel or are they retesting someone else’s theory?  Does the hypothesis appear to address the main question discussed in the introduction?  Do the authors describe how they intend to advance the topic?  Does the hypothesis have a “prediction” of what will happen?  Does the hypothesis let you anticipate the general tests and response measurements? 

Materials and Methods
Does the experimental design actually test the hypothesis?  Is the experimental design statistically and scientifically-sound?  Are the methods fully developed with adequate detail to be repeated by someone else? 

Are the results presented well?  Do all of the graphs have units? Do the results match what you anticipated to see based on the hypotheses?  Do the data have some indication of variation and/or error around the means?  Are there missing results?  Were the data presented only a subset of the data collected; if so, on what basis were the data chosen to be presented?  Are there too many figures with redundant results? 

Does the discussion re-familiarize the reader about the general topic, issue, or problem?  Does the discussion revisit the hypotheses and do they indicated whether they accepted or rejected them?  Do the conclusions make sense based on the study design?  Are the results novel?  Do they attempt to integrate the discussion with other research?  Do they discuss similar studies and tell how their study is similar and why, or are their results different and i If so, why?  Do they address unexpected findings, and try to explain why they think it happened based on the literature?  Do they provide clear implications of the study and show how they advance the topic as they indicated in the introduction?  Did the authors broaden the implications to be relevant to a wide audience? 

Asking these questions may help your reviews be more useful to the authors and produce the best possible article for REM.

Roger Sheley
Editor in Chief – Rangeland Ecology & Management 

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