The publisher Springer Nature has already instituted the key process noted by Jian Gao and Tao Zhou to stamp out fake peer review (Nature 546, 33 (2017); Nature is editorially independent of Springer Nature). Since mid-2016 (or earlier for some journals), we have required authors who suggest unverified reviewers to supply an affiliation, institutional e-mail, ORCID ID and link to list of publications. We are also developing a rigorous reviewer-verification system for the whole of our business.

Earlier this year, we instituted the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group to deliver best practice and further training for staff and external editors. Springer Nature is committed to its role as guardian of the scientific record and to ensuring that all published content reaches appropriate editorial and ethical standards. We do not and will not hesitate to take action when problems are identified.