Doing an Excellent Review of a Sex Roles Paper
Irene Hanson Frieze
Published online: 13 March 2010
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010
Reviewers do an enormous service for Sex Roles.An
excellent review helps the author as well as the Editor, and
helps to strengthen the journal. This editorial discusses
some issues to consider when doing a review for this
journal. It is not essential that a reviewer consider each of
these points, but it should be clear what aspects of the paper
are being considered in the review and which are not.
First, in writing your review, remember that your review
is going to a real person. Be diplomatic! It is very helpful to
begin a review by noting the strengths of the manuscript
before moving on to the criticisms. Reviewers have read an
article looking for possible problems, so it is helpful to step
back before writing the review and think about how this
feedback is best presented.
Second, note whether the paper is an initial submission
or a revision. Issues addressed in the reviewer comments
depend on the stage of revision. For an initial review of a
paper, focus on the overall theory, measures and analyses.
Save specific suggestions about how sentences might be
more clearly worded for later reviews. When looking at a
revision, be sure to comment on whether or not the author
responded to earlier feedback on the paper.
Third, it is not necessary to provide line by line spelling
or formatting corrections. A general sentence explaining
that the paper does not follow APA style guidelines or that
the paper contains many spelling errors is sufficient.
Here are points that might be considered in your review:
1. Topic. It is helpful to briefly review the basic topic
and research questions at the beginning of the review.
Consider issues such as: Is the topic appropriate for Sex
Roles, and would the research questions be of interest
to the readers of the journal? Does the topic add to
existing research or does it merely replicate work already
done? Sex Roles is a journal that has consideration of
gender roles and gender differences as a central focus.
Any article to be published in this journal needs to con-
sider gender as the major topic to be examined.
2. Hypotheses or Research Questions. Does the Introduc-
tion include a set of clearly articulated research questions
or hypotheses? Are hypotheses testable? [Any null hy-
potheses should be noted and should be omitted from the
3. Review of related published research. Is current and
relevant work reviewed? Are any key studies omitted?
What does this paper potentially add to this existing
work? Does the review make it clear to the reader why
the predictions being tested in the paper make sense
and provide a rationale for the predictions?
4. Methods used. Is the sample clearly described and
appropriate for the research questions being asked? Is
the sample large enough to provide good statistical
power for the proposed analyses? Are the procedures
used for data collection clearly described? Are there any
obvious biases created by the procedures used? Is the
measurement of all variables later included in the Results
clearly described? Are appropriate psychometric proper-
ties of scales described? This should include the origin
of the items, score creation, and Cronbach alphas. Are
coding procedures for qualitative data clearly described?
5. Results. Are the analyses what was expected given the
6. Discussion. Does this section link back to the basic
theory from the Introduction? Is the focus on the ob-
tained data in the study?
7. Other. Are tables and figures clear?
I. H. Frieze (*)
University of Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Sex Roles (2010) 62:293