Faq / Comment or question

Did you read I am a reviewer?

Comments belong in a review form, questions do not.

Comments will lead to rework of the document, improving the quality of the document. A comment is about fixing defects, preventing defects (for instance by asking for clarification) and making the document fit for purpose.  If a comment gets rejected, the author can provide a valid reason for that.

A comment is a statement with a few purposes. A comment

  • is clear about what the reviewer wants;
  • helps, or directs, the author in reworking the document based on the comment;
  • is complete in terms of what is found, what is expected and what is wrong/unclear;
  • is (also) complete in terms of spelling, grammar and interpunction;
  • is written as a statement and is prioritized;
  • shows respect to the author, is aimed at the document and is objective and factual.

Questions tend to be answered in the review form, causing the knowledge to fade since a review form is not part of the project’s documentation.

A question is something a reviewer might have when performing a review. A question can arise because of

  • missing information;
  • a gap in the reviewers’ knowledge.

In the first case: note down a comment in the form  of a statement that more information is required. In the second case: ask a colleague to clarify or ask yourself if you are correctly selected as a reviewer for this (part of the) document.

Posted in: From a Reviewers perspective