As a young investigator with limited experience in the peer-review process, I would like to add a perhaps naive suggestion to the comments made by Rory Wilson (Nature 441, 812; 200610.1038/441812d) and others in Correspondence and at

As a result of my conversations with peers and mentors, I suggest that, when assessments are complete, journals ask reviewers to review the other reviewers' comments before the editor makes a decision about publication. Although this assessment is traditionally reserved for the editor, by holding reviewers accountable, thereby encouraging fair and reasonable reports, editors will be better able to assess the suitability of a recommended rejection, revision or acceptance. I believe my suggestion would be particularly useful in journals for which the editor is a practising scientist. In these cases the editor is not anonymous, so may not assess reports as freely as reviewers who have this protection.

Although the time taken for the initial review process may be increased by my suggestion, I believe it would result in a fairer process, as the editor would benefit from the feedback in the decision-making stage and the reviewers would be given an incentive to provide their services fairly.