Peer Review


Nature's peer review debate

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?

This Nature web debate consists of 22 articles of analyses and perspectives from leading scientists, publishers and other stakeholders to address these questions. Key links and relevant articles from our archive are listed below, with further resources available through Connotea. Visit the Peer-to-Peer blog to join the debate.

Table of Contents


Nature's trial of open peer review

Despite enthusiasm for the concept, open peer review was not widely popular, either among authors or by scientists invited to comment.

Sarah Greaves, Joanna Scott, Maxine Clarke, Linda Miller, Timo Hannay, Annette Thomas, Philip Campbell



Online frontiers of the peer-reviewed literature

The Internet is allowing much more interactive science publishing

Theodora Bloom


Trusting data's quality

Database publication presents unique challenges for the peer reviewer

Brenda Riley


Opening up the process

A hybrid system of peer review

Erik Sandewall


An open, two-stage peer-review journal

The editors of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics explain their journal�s approach.

Thomas Koop and Ulrich Pöschl


Reviving a culture of scientific debate

Can 'open peer review' work for biologists? Biology Direct is hopeful.

Eugene Koonin, Laura Landweber, David Lipman and Ros Dignon


Quality and value

The true purpose of peer review

What you can't measure, you can't manage: the need for quantitative indicators in peer review

Charles Jennings


Models of quality control for scientific research

Tom Jefferson


How can we get the best out of peer review?

A recipe for good peer review

Trish Groves


Statistics in peer review

Researchers need reviewers to check their stats.

David Ozonoff


How can we research peer review?

Improving the peer-review process relies on understanding its context and culture.


Joan E. Sieber


Trust and reputation on the web

Online publications have several ways to give themselves a good name.

William Arms


Detecting misconduct

Does a digital workflow make it easier to detect ethical breeches in peer review?

Dale Benos


What is it for?

Analysing the purpose of peer review.

Elizabeth Wager


Increasing accountability

What authors, editors and reviewers should do to improve peer review.

Kirby Lee and Lisa Bero


Technical solutions

Evolving peer review for the internet

Peer review needs to adapt to the pace and volume of information published online

Richard Akerman


Wisdom of the crowds

Scientific publishers should let their online readers become reviewers.

Chris Anderson


Certification in a digital era

What functions do we take for granted in print?

Herbert Van de Sompel



The case for group review

Peer review would be improved by discussions across the lab.

Debomoy Lahiri


Peer review of interdisciplinary scientific papers

Boundary-crossing research meets border patrol

Christopher Lee


'I don�t know what to believe'

Understanding peer review is key to developing informed opinions about scientific research.

Tracey Brown


The pros and cons of open peer review

Should authors be told who their reviewers are?

Thomas DeCoursey


Does peer review mean the same to the public as it does to scientists?

Even reviewed literature can be cherry-picked to support any argument.

John Moore