Question: How To Become Referee For Bioinformatics Papers And Conferences
gravatar for Flow
8.4 years ago by
Flow1.5k wrote:

I moved from biophysics to a mixed team where we usually publish in Bioinformaticas and TCS journal / conferences. For getting funding, in the European country where I live, it is advisable to show in your CV that I have refereed papers or conferences on these fields. I have more than 30 publications but never really thought about this. So my question goes, how can I become referee in these cases?

reference conference • 3.6k views
ADD COMMENTlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k

Why not post a link to your CV here? Some of us are associate editors of bioinformatics journals. But as lh3 pointed out, you usually have to be a corresponding author before journal editors will ask you to review. For conferences, you can get added to the reviewer list by word of mouth.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Qdjm1.9k

it would be a very good idea, but I prefer to maintain my identity

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k
gravatar for Neilfws
8.4 years ago by
Sydney, Australia
Neilfws48k wrote:

Tell your boss that you'd like to review. They're usually more than happy to delegate the task.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.4 years ago by Neilfws48k

This is in fact how most people start as reviewers except they are told, rather than asking :-)

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Neilfws48k

bosses are strange people ... they will do things only for their convenience

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k

I do not agree; if you wait too much you will never get a chance

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k

You cannot rely on your boss, but your boss is usually the shortcut to your first referee experience.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by lh331k

Of course you cannot solely rely on your boss, but your boss is usually the shortcut to your first referee experience.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by lh331k

PIs usually get asked to review more papers than they really want to, letting them know you are looking to review papers is your best bet, they will usually be more than happy to offload some. Otherwise you need to have some first author (not necessarily corresponding) publications in a somewhat relevant area of bioinformatics.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Dan Gaston7.1k
gravatar for Chris Evelo
8.4 years ago by
Chris Evelo10.0k
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Chris Evelo10.0k wrote:

Well most often the journals will just find you since they look for experts in the field based on previous publications. But if you really want to do more reviewing I would choose a few journals that interest you most. Oftentimes you can sign up as a potential reviewer at the journal website. Sometimes you can register for a whole publisher and indicate your expertise. Alternatively you can just write the editors. It might be a good idea to have an online list of publications that you can point them to. In fact that list itself might be found by editors looking for a reviewer.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.4 years ago by Chris Evelo10.0k

This is excellent advice. I have first-hand experience to corroborate that all the statements in this answer are accurate. I cannot confirm whether or not you @flow will be successful in achieving your end goals by following these suggestions. But this is a good start, and might have the side-benefit of being given access to preliminary releases or publications you would not have seen otherwise (I can confirm that).

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Feral Oink10

thanks, I started to follow this and did some things

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k

ok it worked, now I am reviewing some papers

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k
gravatar for Alastair Kerr
8.4 years ago by
Alastair Kerr5.2k
The University of Edinburgh, UK
Alastair Kerr5.2k wrote:

Have you been in contact with organisers of conferences relevant to your skill base? They are usually keen to have extra hands for sifting through papers. Their contact details will be found on the conference proceedings. As for journals, I am surprised that you have not been asked already as they usually use authors from published papers as referees.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.4 years ago by Alastair Kerr5.2k
gravatar for Giovanni M Dall'Olio
8.4 years ago by
London, UK
Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k wrote:

I have never referred any paper or conference, but I have some suggestions:

  • start a blog, and use it to write about papers on the field you are working on. Whenever you write a blog post about an article, send an email to the corresponding authors, inviting him to read your post and make comments. This way you will make more contacts and increase the probability of being asked to be a referee. If you don't have the time to have a blog, use at least twitter.
  • start contributing to open-source projects, and subscribe to mailing lists such as biopython-dev or bioperl-dev. Sometimes, the organizers of opensource-related conferences write in those mailing lists to ask whether anybody is interested in helping organizing it.
  • organize a conference yourself :-)
ADD COMMENTlink written 8.4 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k

And use

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Egon Willighagen5.2k
gravatar for lh3
8.4 years ago by
United States
lh331k wrote:
  1. Become a corresponding author, ie leave your email in the paper.

  2. If your boss or your friends have reviewed before, ask them to recommend you when they want to reject a review invitation.

  3. Some people contact associate editors to ask for review experiences. I do not know if this really works. Editors should have a better answer.

EDIT: IMHO (I do not have any editorial experiences), there are three ways for an editor to find reviewers. Firstly, when we submit a manuscript, many journals require to provide a list of recommended referees. The editors will usually try a few in the list if they think the list is reasonable. If you want to be recruited this way, you have to let people know your email address some way, e.g. as a corresponding author or making your software/algorithms well known to the community. Secondly, editors may ask people they are familiar with. These people may be their friends/colleagues or have reviewed manuscripts before and given good reviews. This way is for returned reviewers. Thirdly, when the potential reviewers of the first two types reject the review invitation, they are frequently asked to provide other reviewer candidates and frequently they give colleagues/students they know. This is why seeking help from your boss and experienced friends can be very useful. I guess the first paper I reviewed came to me in this 3rd way, but I cannot confirm this.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 8.4 years ago • written 8.4 years ago by lh331k

I'll add one more way that reviewers are found these days. Several journals use software that recommends reviewers to editors "automatically" by choosing authors from the author list of similar articles in Pubmed. As has been pointed out, authorship is an effective gateway to the editorial process.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Sean Davis25k
gravatar for Lyco
8.4 years ago by
Lyco2.3k wrote:

Why would anybody want to review papers for journals and conferences? Most people (me included) try to reduces these chores to a manageable level (by either being 'permanently unavaible', by inventing conflicts of interest, or by several other means that I won't disclose :-) (just in case there are editors reading BioStar)

But seriously, you either must live in a very different 'European country' than the ones I know of, or your research area works different from mine (what is TCS, by the way?). I have never heard of cases where paper reviewing is considered an asset for a C.V., mostly because this is done blindly and thus nobody can check how many papers you have really reviewed.

If, on the other hand, your desire is to help the scientific community, doing peer review for journals or meetings is a laudable thing. As others have pointed out, you normally don't have to do anything, the journals will find you. The usual prerequisite is that you have to be a PI (i.e. group leader) and that you have published in the field of interest (as a corresponding author).

Journals normally don't as postdocs or other non-PIs for doing reviews. However, I suspect that a large portion of paper reviews is done by postdocs, because the PI has deferred the job. The journals don't like this practise but there is not much they can do about it. Often they don't even notice because the review goes by the name of the PI.

ADD COMMENTlink written 8.4 years ago by Lyco2.3k

in the country where I live, for the CV it counts a lot in application things like reviewing papers, conferences and so on; not just the publications list. I can not change this situation unfortunately, so I got a negative review and now I am forcing myself to participate as much as possible in all these things. you can demonstrate you did reviews if you appear on the editorial board (tough) or you can request some attestation letter to teh editorial and present it in the application; this is Spain my friend

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k

Being on an editorial board of a good journal helps for sure, but you have to be one of the leading experts in a field to be invited. I am not familar with the situation in Spain but I still have problems to imagine that something as mundane as paper reviewing will help you with an aplication. But I might be wrong.

In any case, good luck to you !

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Lyco2.3k

thanks a lot !!!!

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Flow1.5k

1) Journals definitely find postdoc and PhD for doing reviews. There are numerous examples around me. 2) A reasonable PI (actually all the PIs I am familiar with) would not ask PhD/postdoc to review under his/her name. Bad reviews hurt PI's reputation; PhD/postdoc do need their own reputations as well. 3) You do not need an excuse to reject a review invitation and many journals understand and do not ask for an explanation. Just drop the invitation and better recommend some one else (your friends or PhD/postdoc) to do the work.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by lh331k

1) Maybe some journals do. When I am wearing my editor hat, I don't. But then, some journals have to take what they can get. 2) there are plenty of unreasonable PIs. My former PhD superviser for one. But who knows, maybe things have changed over the years. I do all of the reviewing myself because I expect reviewing by experienced people for my own papers 3) Usually they do ask, but you probably don't have to answer. But editors are humans, at least I prefer when a reviewer writes 'unfortunately the 2nd author is my in-law' rather than 'I don't feel like reviewing for your crappy journal'.

ADD REPLYlink written 8.4 years ago by Lyco2.3k
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