Nature Debuts Peer-Review Option

Authors submitting to Nature journals can soon request double-blind reviews.

Tracy Vence
Feb 18, 2015

FLICKR, PETE O'SHEABeginning next month, authors submitting their work to Nature and its associated journals can request double-blind peer review, in which the authors’ names and affiliations will be withheld from reviewers (much like reviewers’ names and affiliations are currently withheld from the authors).

“Advocates of double-blind peer review suggest that it eliminates personal biases, such as those based on gender, seniority, reputation and affiliation,” Nature noted in its February 18 announcement.

In contrast, some researchers have advocated for open peer review, in which the authors and reviewers both are clearly identified, arguing that such increased transparency might further limit bias. But some open-peer-review advocates, such as PhD student Matthew Evans of the John Innes Centre in Norwich, U.K., suggest that, if reviews are to be blinded, double-blind is preferable to single-blind peer review.

“Good scientists will continue to publish good papers in good journals under a double-blind...