Transparent peer review at Nature Communications : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group
"Scientific peer review is regularly criticized as being ineffective and ‘broken’, although it continues to be widely used in academic publishing. While peer review certainly has its drawbacks, we regard this process as an essential valuable mechanism to improve the quality and accuracy of the scientific record, and it helps us editors to decide about the publication of a paper. Reviewer reports provide fascinating insights into the merits and limitations of our papers and often foster revisions that make a substantial difference to the robustness and impact of the papers that we publish. A study that challenges established knowledge can lead to long, deep discussions between authors, editors and reviewers that so far, at our journal, remain confidential. As a journal, we are committed to openness and transparency, and to make our peer review process more transparent, as a trial, we will be publishing all reviewer comments to authors and author rebuttal letters for published papers submitted from January 2016, unless the authors ask us not to. Upon acceptance of a paper, authors will be asked whether they agree to the publication of the peer review file along with the accepted version of the manuscript. We will evaluate the success of the trial by monitoring parameters such as author opt-out rates, and are planning to provide a report within a year ..."