How to Referee Scientific Papers

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This course is part of the Ph.D. seminar for the IDE Ph.D. students (1.5 ECTS).


Mohammad Mousavi


After finishing this course the researcher will have the following skills:

  • Know about the basic ingredients of an acceptable scientific paper and proposal,
  • Know about ethical issues regarding reviewing papers and proposals, and
  • Write structured and constructive review reports for scientific journal and conference papers, write book reviews, and provide evaluations for project proposals.


The course provides the basic skills to review scientific papers and abstracts as well as proposals for research projects. The course first introduces the general structure of such documents and the content of "ideal" papers and proposals; which will be used as reference points for the to-be-reviewed papers and proposals. Then, we will introduce the process of reviewing papers and proposal and the structure of the review report. Finally, we will discuss the ethical issues, including dealing with special cases (such as plagiarism) and revealing information from the reviewed document, reviewing process and its outcome.


The lectures will be held on Monday January the 23rd, from 10:00 to 12:30 at E324.

The lectures will be structured into 3 sessions of 45 minutes:

  • Session 1: Introduction, Research Paper Methodology and Structure, Review Process in Journals and Conferences, Review Software, Structure of a Review Report
  • Session 2: Review Report (continued), Plagiarism and Copyright, Other Ethical Issues in the Review Process (e.g., Anonymity, Confidentiality, and Conflict of Interest)
  • Session 3: Case study


Reviewing submissions for the Ph.D. conference

Feedback on papers, the review process and the review reports

Taking part in the annual Ph.D. seminar

Course Material and Resources

Slides and Handouts

Reading Material

How to Review

How to Write

How to Present

How to Research


I have used some of Luca Aceto's material in preparing this course. Luca Aceto also provided valuable feedback on the presentation slides.

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