International Association for Cryptologic Research
Guidelines for J. Cryptology Referees
Include the title, authors, and submission number in both
the cover letter to the editor and the report to the authors.
Put your recommendation to accept or reject only in the cover
letter to the editor, not in the report to the authors.
Give both high-level, general comments and low-level,
specific comments about the positive and negative aspects of the
submission. Comment in as much detail as necessary about the
correctness, depth, originality, potential breadth of audience,
scholarship, and exposition of the submission. In particular, give
explicit, constructive criticism if you think you have found a
technical flaw, a "gap" in an argument, inconsistent or nonstandard
terminology or notation, or missing references. Comment, if
necessary, on discussion of related and previous work, particularly if
you think the discussion is weak and that this weakness makes the set of
potential readers noticeably smaller than it could be.
If the submission starts with a brief, well written abstract (as
all submissions should!), and then you need not summarize the
submission's contents in your report. If the abstract is missing or
inadequate, then point this out and, if possible, provide an
appropriate 1- to 2-paragraph abstract.
Avoid ad-hominem remarks, sarcasm, outrage, and all
emotional flourishes. They are unnecessary, no matter what your
wishes for the disposition of the manuscript, and can be
counterproductive. If you want the submission to be rejected, a
clearly stated, objective explanation of its inadequacy is most likely
to produce the outcome you want. If you think that the basic idea of
the submission is sound but that substantial revision is needed, you
should make constructive suggestions. Ad-hominem remarks
are more likely to drive authors away to another journal than to
produce a revision that you will be satisfied with.