Since I’m having SO.MUCH.FUN. with the response to previous reviews- I thought I’d share a few more gems with you from one of the previous rounds. So here goes-
- #1: Some general weaknesses and concerns center on the application’s focus on over-investigated areas such as phenotype X, Y, and Z….
I’d take this criticism standing up, with a stiff upper lip- I really would… but for one thing. There were NO experiments in the proposal to investigate phenotypes X, Y, and Z. NONE. Now we can all have a good laugh about this and think that this person is off their rocker…. and this is easy to rebut, but maddening that this carelessness passes for peer-review.
- #2: It would have been nice to have seen some thinking that is removed from the obvious XYZ.
Again- I’m not sure what is being referred too- since XYZ systems weren’t included in the proposal. But the other thing that gets me riled up about statements like this is the ‘it would have been nice’ part. WTF??? Note to reviewers- strike the ‘it would have been nice’ statements from your reviewing vocabulary. Say it out loud when you think the focus is in the wrong place- I’ve got no problem with that. But if you are going to do this- make sure you actually read the proposal first. Secondly- if I only had a crystal ball to determine what reviewers think would be ‘nice’ or ‘most interesting’. I’ve got a lot of topics and subtopics as part of this project that I think it would be ‘nice’ and ‘most interesting’ to think about- but to me the bottom line is- on this proposal, is the question being asked important? Are the approaches being proposed to address said question likely to answer the question? Have the pitfalls been adequately considered and alternatives (likely to work) proposed? Outside of that I’m just stuck with these pointless- it would have been nice- statements. Now I’ll probably get a whole bunch of comments saying that I’m hopelessly naive… but that’s OK.
- #3. The preliminary findings are predictable and would be true for most organisms.
This one really takes the cake, though. In order to realize that you’d have to know that in my preliminary data I examined a highly specific subset of factors- so specific in fact, that they belong only to a single species.
So- for all of you who think that this peer-reviewed thing is always done with the care and caution that you would do it with- think again. There is randomness and carelessness in this system, just like in any other.