Our editorial policies
Confidentiality is very important to us. We ask all reviewers to abide by our confidentiality policy: all correspondence, information and material exchanged during manuscript review must be kept in the strictest confidence, both before and after publication. If you wish to seek advice from a colleague while reviewing a manuscript, you must receive explicit permission from the editor in advance of sharing a copy of the manuscript. In these instances, please be sure to also note the names of these colleagues in your comments to the editor when you submit your report.
Reviewing manuscripts will give you an exciting preview of work in progress, but to avoid breaching confidentiality, please wait until the paper you have reviewed has been published before citing its results in your own manuscript. If the authors have posted a preprint to an established preprint server, you may cite the preprint in advance of publication. Importantly, you should not use the results of the work you have reviewed in your own research before the work is published.
We keep reviewer identities confidential throughout the review process. However, reviewers who choose to do so can sign their report. This will reveal their identity to the authors and also to the other reviewers after each round of review, when all the reports are shared after the editorial decision is made (or prior to the decision if we are seeking reviewer input on their peers’ comments). There are pros and cons in revealing your identity: identified reviewers may find it more challenging to review subsequent versions of the manuscript, when reviewers are sometimes asked to comment on each other’s points; on the other hand, signing reports improves the transparency and accountability of the process.
We ask that you refrain from identifying yourself to authors by any means other than signing your review. We are firmly opposed to attempts by authors to determine reviewer identities, and it is our policy to neither confirm nor deny any such speculation; we encourage our reviewers to do likewise.
Double-blind peer review
All Nature Research journals offer the option of double-blind peer review. Authors who choose this option remain anonymous to reviewers throughout the peer review process. In these cases, you will only become aware of the authors’ identities at the point of publication.