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Quick Guide for TRB Committee Reviewers

Basic Expectations:

  • Review submissions within your area of expertise and return your comments by September 15
  • Respect the confidentiality of the process
  • Be objective, professional, and constructive in your review
  • Declare any conflicts of interest (professional, personal or financial) and recuse yourself from the review

Recommended Actions:

  • Read the Abstract and accept or reject invitation to review as soon as possible
  • Read the paper and form an initial impression before you begin writing
  • If the paper is unintelligible, please return it to the committee with a recommendation to desk reject
  • If a good paper is compromised by poor writing, tactfully note this in your comments and suggest a grammar review
  • Identify specific strengths and weaknesses of the paper in your summary
  • Give detailed and constructive comments to the author(s) to help with revisions and provide an assessment of the paper to the Review Coordinator
  • If appropriate, suggest additional relevant literature for the author to consider 

Things to Consider:

  • Does the title and abstract properly reflect the subject of the paper?
  • Are the narrative and the key findings of the paper clearly described?
  • Will the work be of interest to TRB attendees?
  • Is the methodology appropriate to the topic of research?
  • Does the paper make a meaningful contribution to the current literature and/or practice?
  • Are there major conceptual or factual errors?
  • Is any information unclear?
  • Is the paper an appropriate length?

What to Expect:

  • You will receive an invitation with the paper abstract to review from TRB Committee Review;
  • please accept or decline within 5 days
  • Your review is due by September 15
  • If the paper was submitted for publication, you will be asked to provide a 1-10 recommendation to go to the Editorial Board for further review
  • The decision options are Accept or Reject for presentation at TRB
  • You can indicate your willingness to evaluate a revision of the paper if the paper goes on to the Editorial Board
  • You will be copied on the Committee decision letter, and your comments will be sent to the author and Editorial Board by November 1

For more information, please visit our full reviewer guidelines PDF. 

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