Since I was recently asked to review a paper, it seems like a good time to take a look at “The Art of Manuscript Reviewing.” Although it is aimed at historians, the advice it contains is equally applicable to sociologists. You should check out the entire thing (it is short!), but the list includes:
- Recognize what the author has accomplished
- Be honest
- Be concrete and constructive
- Don’t take over
- Be attentive to questions of audience
- Be gracious
All of these are points that I would appreciate as an author. Incidentally, since I have only published sporadically in the past few years and I’m certainly not the go-to “expert” on any topic, I rarely get asked to review papers. One piece of reviewing advice I’ve received from a senior scholar that I’m unlikely to be able to follow is that I should spend only two hours reviewing an article: one hour to read it and one hour to provide comments.