peer review

Reflection on the EMBO journal's transparent peer review process

Earlier this month, Bernd Pulverer, chief editor of The EMBO Journal, reflected on two years of transparency in peer review at the journal (Nature 468, 29-31, subscription required).  The journal now publishes referees' reports, authors' responses and editors' comments alongside papers.  

New Scientist analyses stem cell publication data

Triggered by the open letter to senior editors of peer review journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology published on this site last year,  New Scientist this week published their analysis of "publication dynamics" in the field of induced pluripotenti stem (iPS) cell research.  They found that researchers in the US get their papers published faster, and in higher-profile journals, than rivals elsewhere.

BBC highlights concerns over scientific publishing process

The UK’s BBC News has highlighted concerns that high-quality science is going unpublished, while weaker research takes its place in leading scientific journals.

Leading stem cell scientists Austin Smith and Robin Lovell-Badge spoke out about problems with the peer review process – the system used by scientific journals to decide which research is good enough to publish. In this process, when a researcher sends a report about their latest work to a journal, it is passed on to other scientists in the field for comment. The journal editor then uses the comments from these expert reviewers to decide whether the research is of a high enough quality to be published.

Stem cell scientists call for improvements to the peer review process

A group of 14 leading stem cell researchers have called for improved transparency in an open letter to peer-review journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology. The letter, which was sent to senior editors of 10 key journals, calls for publication of reviews and editorial correspondence alongside research papers.

Austin Smith of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and his 13 co-signatories propose:

Open letter to Senior Editors of peer-review journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology

Stem cell biology is highly topical and is attracting great interest not only within the research community but also from politicians, patient groups and the general public. However, the standard of publications in the field is very variable. Papers that are scientifically flawed or comprise only modest technical increments often attract undue profile. At the same time publication of truly original findings may be delayed or rejected.

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