Concerning the article by Rex Dalton “Should Reviewers Sign Their Critiques?” (The Scientist, July 11, page 5), my answer to the question would be emphatically “yes!” The arguments against it are unrealistic. Reviewers should have accountability. I have a modest proposal an Author’s Bill of Rights, which follows:
1. The reviewer should have credentials of scholarship equal to those required of the author. (Passing the paper to the postdoc down the hall from the editor is not satisfactory) If the name of the reviewer will not be given, then let his rank and experience be stated.
2. The author should have the right to suggest alternate reviewers.
3. If a review is negative, the reasons for the criticism should be fully documented.
4. If changes are recommended in a paper, the reasons for such changes should also be fully documented.
5. The tenor of the review should be...