Thank you for agreeing to review for Statistics Surveys. We seek high quality survey articles on statistical theory, computation, methodology, or applications. When refereeing for Statistics Surveys, please keep the following in mind:
(1) The Big Picture
In judging a submission, the most important single question to keep in mind is: if I had a graduate student working on a related topic, would I encourage them to read this paper? That is, a good review paper should provide a bridge between textbook material and current research, and should be useful and interesting and comprehensible even to people slightly outside the specific topic under consideration.
(2) Focus, Content and Completeness
Does the paper start with a clear description of the topic it intends to review, and does it in fact do a good job of selecting the most important and interesting parts of the topic to discuss? Novelty or new material is not a requirement for Statistics Surveys.
Please think about the following questions: Is the paper clearly written and well-structured? Do the authors make good use of examples and figures to help readers understand the important concepts? Are there issues with style, grammar, typos, etc.? Are there parts of the paper that need revision to improve clarity?
Because Statistics Surveys covers a wide range of topics, we do not expect that every statistician can read every paper. Still, we expect authors to write as clearly as possible. The abstract and introduction should be accessible to a wide audience.
Mathematical and algorithmic validity are the authors’ professional responsibility. Referees can spot implausible claims and broad errors of statistical or mathematical reasoning, but are not expected to perform a line-by-line check of technical results.
(5) Your Report
Usually, a referee can decide relatively quickly whether the paper is “basically acceptable” or not. If not, then a quick report and explanation to the Associate Editor is sufficient; it is not necessary to write a separate report to the author.
If you recommend acceptance (possibly after revision), please focus on the report to the authors; the separate report to the associate editor can be brief. Please make sure that your comments are detailed, specific, and polite, and avoid vague or subjective complaints. Try to give concrete suggestions for improving the paper (e.g., Could you add a section explaining the connection of this topic with topic XYZ? The material in section Y seems too technical; can it be omitted?)
Please submit your report on time. If you cannot meet the deadline, please let the Associate Editor know.
Thank you again for your help. Good refereeing is a key ingredient for a successful journal!