Some practical issues

I started reviewing manuscripts on paper, but the manuscript handling was soon digitalised and manuscripts distributed via email. At first, I found it difficult to read manuscripts on screen. I printed out the manuscripts on a laser printer, but the waste of paper was substantial. After many attempts, I eventually got used to reading manuscripts on a desktop computer.

There are, however, several disadvantages with this. For example, the reviewing includes reading, commenting, and reporting, which implies that multiple windows and at least two different programs have to be used simultaneously and with a keyboard instead of a pencil. I therefore tried to use tables instead, such as ebook readers and an iPad, but I didn’t find any really practical alternative. The screens were too small, difficult to read in direct sunlight, and the keyboards were too unfriendly for writing a review report.

My latest test is using a reMarkable in combination with splitting up the review process into one initial reading and annotating part (using the reMarkable) and a later reporting phase (using a laptop). The reMarkable screen is reasonably large for reading pdf manuscripts in A4 or letter format. It is simple to transfer manuscripts to the reMarkable, and comments can be annotated by hand directly in the pdf with a special pencil. The remarkable is also well readable in direct sunlight, and the battery lasts for weeks.

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