Nature Research announced that beginning this week, authors of new submissions to its flagship publication, Nature, will be offered the option to have anonymous referee reports published, along with their own responses and rebuttals, once a manuscript is ready for publication. Referees can also choose to be named, should they desire. The publication has given referees, or reviewers, that option since 2016. About 80% of the journal’s papers have at least one named referee.
Nature will join others in the family in publishing peer review correspondence. Nature Microbiology, Nature Immunology, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Ecology & Evolution, Nature Human Behaviour, and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology are among the journals that will publish such reports. Nature Communications has been doing so since 2016.
While much of the scientific community has spoken out in favour of more transparent peer review, there have been some concerns. Perhaps, some suggest, reviewers will ‘go easier’ on papers in hopes that they’ll earn reciprocal treatment later.
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