Peer-ils of reviewing papers

With New Year's just behind us, I'm betting that precisely nobody has made the resolution to do more reviews of papers, or faster reviews, or better reviews.

Well, maybe you should, according to two letters in this week's Science. First, William Perrin laments his problems finding qualified reviewers:

If an average acceptance rate of 50% is assumed, and if each paper needs at least two reviews, then each paper published represents at least four reviews. Following this logic, if you publish three or four papers a year, you should be doing at least 12 to 16 reviews. Anything less means that you are sloughing off the work to others who are perhaps less knowledgeable and capable than you in your specialty, and you should not be upset when someone reviewing a paper of yours "doesn't have a clue."

Then, Robert Zucker provides some tips -- which mainly say, "Ease up, people":

Reviewers make two common mistakes. The first mistake is to reflexively demand that more be done. Do not require experiments beyond the scope of the paper, unless the scope is too narrow. Avoid demanding that further work apply new techniques and approaches, unless the approaches and techniques used are insufficient to support the conclusions. There is no need to require more tests of conclusions that have been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, and conversely, authors need not exclude every possible explanation for their results. Suggest an additional experiment, further analysis, or altered interpretation, but do not make publication contingent on these changes. If the conclusions cannot stand without additional work or if the evidence does not distinguish between reasonably likely alternatives, recommend that the editor reject the manuscript.
The second mistake often made by reviewers is failing to consider all of the journal's goals and requirements, including standards and guidelines stated in the editorial policy and gleaned from its articles....

There's quite a bit more there in that second paragraph.

I tend to write long detailed reviews, and they tend to take me a long time, and, well, that's never good. The papers never seem to take any of the comments, anyway. So I think I'll make it my resolution to write short reviews. Although, if Perrin is to be believed, this will probably wind up with me getting more of them.