Before dispensing with peer review in favour of open science, responsible scientists need to do everything they can to improve this centuries-old system. Our experience shows that journals that share information on all aspects of the peer-review process can foster transparency and accountability in publishing, while protecting the interests of authors, reviewers, editors and researchers.
As part of PEERE, a large European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action project funded by the European Union, researchers teamed up with the publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature (which publishes Nature) and Wiley to devise a protocol for sharing such information (see go.nature.com/2rx5ert). Our publicly available protocol has already been piloted in hundreds of journals and is tackling issues such as anonymity, privacy and data management.
This systematic investigation of the review process will enable more journals to recognize biases against the publication of innovative research, to test different peer-review models and to work out how best to engage and reward reviewers.
We invite scholars, editors and publishers to participate in the PEERE initiative by contacting us.