Archive by category | Journals

Reducing the peer-reviewer’s burden

Reducing the peer-reviewer's burden

Nature Chemical Biology ( 6, 307; 2010) asks in its May Editorial: what can be done to reduce the burden on scientific referees while ensuring the continuity and quality of peer review? Peer review, in which scientists critically evaluate ideas, results and scientific models, is central to all scientific discourse and especially critical for ensuring the quality of the scientific literature. Researchers profit from the peer review process in their roles as authors, where it improves their published papers. They also benefit as referees by getting a broad view of leading studies in their field and by enhancing the rigor  … Read more

What Nature Chemical Biology asks of its reviewers

What Nature Chemical Biology asks of its reviewers

Excerpted from Nature Chemical Biology 6, 245 (2010). Peer review remains the primary mechanism for maintaining high standards and ensuring the completeness and accuracy of scientific studies. It also provides practical feedback to authors, which leads to better papers in the scientific literature. Over the years, the editorial team and Nature Chemical Biology authors have been fortunate to work with a diverse and conscientious group of referees. These scientists have consistently provided us with timely and thoughtful feedback on the novelty, technical merit and potential significance of manuscripts. Here, we discuss some specific aspects of how the peer review process  … Read more

Nature Genetics wants proportional representation

Nature Genetics wants proportional representation

This is a shortened version of the Editorial in the March issue of Nature Genetics (42, 187; 2010). Nature Genetics publishes papers from a very broad geographical catchment, and we invite peer referees from among the world’s best genetics researchers in order to attract and publish papers of a uniformly high standard. We need to do more to recruit outstanding referees from under-represented regions. Editors make lab visits and meet authors at conferences not only to learn about research that is ready to be published in the journal, but also to hear critical comments from authors about research published in  … Read more

What Nature Physics wants

Peer review is the cornerstone of scientific publishing. But it isn’t always clear exactly what Nature Physics expects of its referees. The journal explains in its November Editorial (5, 775; 2009). “Whatever you think about a paper, it is vital to explain to us exactly why you think it. Your colleagues among the other reviewers may disagree with your assessment, and we do not base our decisions on a show of hands. Hence detailed critiques carry more weight in informing our decisions than terse affirmations one way or the other (in most cases we would disregard the latter, regardless of who supplied it).  Read more

EMBO journal introduces transparent peer-review

Via press release, The EMBO Journal will be publishing online author and referee comments from this year (2009). “The EMBO Journal has been our flagship publication for 27 years, sharing knowledge broadly within the molecular life sciences community,” said Hermann Bujard, director of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation). “We are excited by the editorial changes that will make publication of research findings more transparent, complete and visible.”  … Read more

Nature Chemical Biology decodes decisions

Over the past four years, the editors of Nature Chemical Biology have enjoyed getting to know chemical biologists from around the world and hearing about their diverse research. In the journal’s December Editorial (Nat. Chem. Bio. 4, 715; 2008), the editors describe how they select papers. From the Editorial:  … Read more

Evaluation of the peer-reviewer’s work

In a discussion at Nature Network about the desirability, or otherwise, of developing a set of metrics to measure individual value, Roberto Cerbino suggests that an interesting factor for an experiment is peer-reviewing activity. Some journals already publish at the end of the year the list of names of reviewers. Perhaps, he writes, they could add some quantitative factor such as the number of papers reviewed or an evaluation index of the reviewer’s work? This would be a small but useful step to assess the contributions of individuals to their fields of activity.  Read more