nasty peer-reviews or “never enough”

If you’re an academic you most probably know these nasty peer-reviews rejecting your hard work. These reviews written by your „peers“, who are supposed to make a responsible decision, but use their powerful role to let off steam instead. Reviews that constist of a couple of lines without a single in-depth argument about the value of your work or lack of thereof. These are disappointing. Especially for someone like me, who takes a lot of time to write a thorough review (somewhat naive and not sufficiently familiar with the academic game yet).

However, these are even more disappointing in the context of our changing academic/ research landscapes. The more dependent (young) researchers get on these reviews – not only in terms of getting their articles published, but more importantly in terms of getting research grants and jobs – the more weight these reviews and the people writing them get. In a time of economic crisis and budget cutbacks nasty reviews might become a nail in the coffin of an early-stage researcher’s career. That is why I would like to make a plea to all the „blind reviewers“ out there – especially those who have been socialized in a university system with lifelong positions free of evaluations or agreements of performance – to write responsible reviews (not necessarily positive, but fair). For those of you, who are annoyed by unjustified review(er)s I suggest listening to „never enough“ by The Cure – I’m sure you’ll find some parallels to the absurdity of the academic world. Enjoy!

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