In a previous blog post, I asked “what makes a Nature Genetics paper?” I have been slow to follow up on the post with my own answers to that question, but in the meantime I would like to share this email that brightened my day (edited for clarity):
“I work on the field of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in complex diseases and I note that of recent months, the criteria and standard of Nature Genetics (NG) for accepting GWAS papers is getting higher and higher.
Looking back at this editorial from 3 years back: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v43/n7/full/ng.881.html
It appears that NG remains truly interested in strong, novel biological insights arising from the genetic work, and this is really wonderful. Consistent with this, NG published a beautiful and conclusive GWAS on visceral leishmaniasis in 2013, even though very small studies in the past have hinted at the same gene, but without any power to be at all definitive. I could go on and on, as there are many such great examples.
Despite a ton of [rejections without review], my collective experience with the journal has been very good due to the consistency of the editorial decisions handed down, and the very helpful tone of the editors. It may seem subtle and not all that obvious, but I note that ‘secondary, strongly genome-wide significant, ethnic specific signals’ within a broadly known locus is usually not of sufficient novelty for NG, and it is really consistent throughout. The journal is to be saluted for the consistent, increase in standards throughout the years.”
We of course try to be as consistent as possible in our editorial decisions and to constantly raise the bar…though this doesn’t always make everyone happy, for sure. We’d love to hear from more of you (whether positive or negative feedback…though please keep it civil!). You can email me or directly leave a note in the comments if you prefer.