I recently ran a poll on Twitter to learn if academics change the way they review depending on the journal impact factor. As for myself, I won’t be “milder” if I’m reviewing for a lower impact factor – the methods still have to be justifiable, and the paper still needs to be well-organized and well-written – in my opinion.
What I learned from this poll is that most of the respondents have the same attitude. For some high impact journals, the perceived future impact of the work is more important, so that may change the way in which the reviewer prepares his/her report and recommendation – but at the end of the day, the science still has to be good to merit publication, regardless of the venue.
Here’s the wake of the poll: