Please be completely frank in giving our office your critical
opinion of this manuscript. Your report is solely for our
guidance, and your name will not be revealed to the author
unless you indicate that you wish it so.
Please feel free to write any notes or queries on the manuscript.
In addition, a set of overall written comments would be
helpful in our deliberations about the publishability of
this manuscript. You should not feel compelled to expend
a lot of time making detailed comments on the manuscript.
We are essentially seeking a recommendation about whether
or not to publish.
If you prefer to mark up the manuscript electronically,
that is also fine but be aware that your anonymity may be
compromised unless you take the steps below. (When
using the track changes or comments features in MS Word,
most people's computers are set up so our initials or names
appear when somebody else positions his or her mouse over
our comments - thus you'd no longer be anonymous.) To get
around this, within Word 2003, pull down the tools, then options
menus and then click on the "user information"
tab. In Word 2007, open a blank document, click on the review tab, select the track changes pull-down menu, and then select the "change user name" option. Your computer may not accept a blank entry for your
name, but you could type in the word "anonymous"
for the purposes of this review; after you finish the review,
you'd presumably want to switch it back.
Whether you comment electronically or in hard copy, we
do ask for any specific comments that you might have that
would improve the work. Please frame all of your suggested
changes in one of two categories: essential changes versus
"nice to have" improvements.
The following questions may help you to frame your comments:
1. Is the work original? Is the scholarship sound? What
has the author tried to accomplish, and to what extent has
2. Is this a work of importance to specialists in the field?
To what other audiences might it also appeal?
3. What are the chief books recently published on this
subject, and how does this work compare with them?
4. Is the manuscript written in a clear, readable style?
Is its organization suitable and effective? Does it contain
unnecessary repetition? Could it be cut without loss of
effectiveness, or is it about the right length?
5. How could the manuscript be improved? Are there any
6. If this manuscript is a collection of essays, are they
of uniformly high quality and do they work together to convey
a central theme? Should any be elimination? Does the introduction
make a contribution of its own, as well as tie the essays
We are most grateful for your willingness to referee this
manuscript. Thank you for taking the time to help us. This
office relies upon experts like yourself to ensure that
publications meet the highest standards of scholarship.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your reader's
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
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