The future of peer review

Nature recently launched a trial of a new peer reviewing system for manuscripts, where pre-prints are made available on the web and anyone, including the authors, can post comments in an open forum in a blog-like fashion. I think this is an excellent idea and developments like this are long overdue. I’ve always been a bit uneasy with the usual blind review system. The reasons for this are twofold. First, if the acceptance/rejection of a paper is determined entirely by one or two blind reviewers, it’s a bit of a lucky-dip whether you get good ones who make fair comments, understand the work and are actually interested. Second, science is all about the open discussion of ideas, and its only logical that this should be extended to peer review. Deciding the quality of a piece of work is something I think could benefit a lot from community feedback. I would have given anything to have been able to comment on this paper that I commented on in a previous post.

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