My Refereeing Policy
Dear Prof. ???
I will be happy to referee this paper by ???, either on or very near ???, 201?, as in my refereeing policy which is attached below. Please let me know if you are interested in my report on that date.
My Refereeing Policy (updated January 31, 2008) =============================================== (please do not forward to the author(s)) In short: I referee up to 6 papers a year (much more than my own output), spending up to a full day (8 hours) on each one. At the end of such a day I write what I can write - great, awful, in between or "couldn't tell". If it's too hard (i.e., takes more than a day of work) I don't do it. In detail: After years of feeling inadequate and frustrated with writing referee reports (I've always been slow and hardly ever felt that I've done a complete job) in October 2003 I've decided to codify my refereeing policy. My aims are twofold: To put bounds on the process for my own sake, and to have a policy document (this one) I can forward to editors to set expectations clear. 1. Upon receipt of a referee request I will either reject it outright or assign a full day for reading the relevant article and writing a report about it, at least two months after and preferably no more than three months after the scheduled completion of all my previous refereeing assignments. 2. I will then send the assigned date along with this policy document to the editor; it is up to the editor to decide if the report, of nature as described below and at the specified assigned date, remains of interest for him/her. 3. Assuming the editor remains interested, I will referee the article and send my report on the assigned date, or, if for some unexpected reason I am unable to spend a day on the article on the assigned date, I will re-assign a day for that article at the nearest convenient date and notify the editor of the new date. 4. My report will likely be as deep as it can be after one day of work, but no more. I will attempt to identify and understand the main point of the paper and confirm that some new idea is present that makes the main point likely attainable. I will comment on the overall value of the paper as I see it after a day of reading. But I may not have the time to read details and a positive recommendation may not mean that I am convinced that the paper is fully correct or even that the main point is true. Likewise, while I will be acting in good faith, a negative recommendation may sometimes mean that in one day of reading I still miss the point, which may well be present and may be great. 5. This document is publicly available on my web site and can easily be traced back to me. Please do not forward it to the author(s). This document is subject to change and revision by its author.