Following the previous courses on “How to write a scientific paper in hydrology”, this year we focused on the review process. Three speakers, András Bárdossy (editor in Chief, Journal of Hydrology), Erwin Zehe (chief-executive editor, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences) and Axel Kleidon (chief editor, Earth System Dynamics) first gave their view on the most important aspects of reviewing a scientific paper. They shared their insights from their experiences as editors, reviewers, authors and readers of scientific publications. Plagiarism and splitting studies into “least publishable units” were mentioned as frequent problems of submitted manuscripts. Therefore, the panel highlighted the reviewers’ responsibility to ensure that original scientific work is reported. They stressed the need for a thorough consideration of both the content and the presentation before accepting a publication (e.g. also checking the equations). Concerning writing a review they strongly suggested remaining objective and clearly state why the paper should be accepted / revised or rejected. The interactive discussion between the panel and the audience covered points such as “How well do you have to know the topic to review a paper?”, “What to put into the review – the reviewer is not writing the paper? We hope the short course motivated the participants to contribute the most important community service: reviewing scientific papers.