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Review of the Narsto Draft Report: Narsto Assessment of the Atmospheric Science on Particulate Matter
examples of those problems are presented in this review’s comments on the draft’s chapters. In addition, although some chapters are well written, others would benefit greatly from copyediting to improve distracting grammatical and usage errors. Besides a thorough editing, the authors should also strongly consider using a text box near the beginning of each chapter to introduce and define important terms, abbreviations, and concepts. Such boxes, which are more immediately accessible than a glossary, should supplement definitions given in the glossary. In addition, consistent definitions should be provided in the text as terms are introduced. It is important that the definitions used at different points be the same and that the glossary be complete.
The committee finds the presentation of major research recommendations in text boxes confusing. There is no discussion in the draft’s introduction alerting the reader that important research recommendations are summarized in this manner and that the numbering scheme used for the text boxes refers to the numbering used in Chapter 11. The specific text of the recommendations given in the chapters often does not match the text in Chapter 11. Many of the cross references to report sections used in Chapter 11 to support the recommendations are to nonexistent or irrelevant sections. The committee recommends that these problems be corrected. Using text boxes to highlight only research recommendations may give the reader the impression that the authors give more weight to these recommendations than to summarizing policy-relevant PM science. In fact, the authors could consider the potential value of using such boxes to highlight the policy recommendations presented in Chapter 10.
In general, the figures and tables are in poor condition. Many have inadequate captions or titles, missing labels, and poor reproduction. In addition, because they typically have been excerpted from other published materials, they are often very technical and inadequately explained in the text. The committee recommends that each figure and table be examined to ensure that its caption or title is adequate, that all text and lines are visible, and that it is sufficiently supported in the text of the assessment. Specific figures and tables that are particularly poor in presentation or are not well integrated into the discussion are noted in Chapters 3 and 4 of this report.
A consistent level of citations to the relevant technical literature should be adopted. The committee agrees that the PM assessment should not be an exhaustive review of prior work, but several chapters would benefit from additional references to key publications and reviews. Overall, the committee finds that inadequate attention has been given to editorial details and the presentation of the draft report. It was disappointing to note that many of the committee’s specific editorial comments had already been conveyed by chapter authors and members of the NARSTO community but were not addressed before the draft was provided to the committee.