About Peer Review

The Nature journals are appreciative of their peer-reviewers, of whom there are many tens of thousands. It is only by collaboration with our reviewers that editors can ensure that the manuscripts we publish are among the most important in their disciplines of scientific research. We appreciate the time that referees devote to assessing the manuscripts we send them, which helps ensure that Nature journals publish only material of the very highest quality. In particular, many submitted manuscripts contain large volumes of additional (supplementary) data and other material, which take time for referees to evaluate. We thank our referees for their continued commitment to our publication process and to help recognize this effort we provide each Nature referee with an official refereeing activity report. This can be found on the ‘Manuscript(s)’ tab of a referee’s ‘My Nature Research Account’ page, accessible through a link at the bottom of the author home page in the manuscript tracking system of any Nature journal.

Nature journals' peer-review policy and process are explained on this page. Here you can read about our online manuscript review system; criteria for publication; the review process; how we select referees; access to the literature for referees; writing the review; other questions to consider; timing; anonymity; editing referees' reports; the peer-review system in general; Nature journals' publication policies concerning peer-review; ethics and security considerations for reviewers. See "Reviewing Appeals", an Editorial in Nature Immunology, for a description of the Nature journals' peer-review process and what the journals do about appeals against decisions not to publish papers.

Peer review is commonly accepted as an essential part of scientific publication. But the ways peer review is put into practice vary across journals and disciplines. What is the best method of peer review? Is it truly a value-adding process? What are the ethical concerns? And how can new technology be used to improve traditional models? Nature has published a web focus of 22 articles of analyses and perspectives from leading scientists, publishers and other stakeholders to address these questions, with further resources available through Connotea.

Nature Research has an archived blog, Peer-to-peer, for peer reviewers and about peer review, which includes a complete archive of Nature's peer-review debate.

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