Friday, April 10, 2015

Nature journals go for double-blind review option – only science should count

The international highly recognized Nature journal (impact factor of 42 in 2013) has announced to offer double-blind reviews. The situation so far is that authors submit their paper, an editor rates the content and either rejects the paper or will forward it to a reviewer. The reviewer will comment to the paper anonymously whilst knowing the author’s identity.

With the double-blind approach the authors can demand that their names and institutions will not beshown to the reviewer. The aim behind offering this possibility is a good one. Without knowing the author’s identity prejudices and discrimination should be circumvented – only science should count.

While the pursuit of a more fair review process is welcomed by the research community, skepticism arises with regard to the question if the double-blind approach is the best solution. Some people argue that double-blind can only work if it is mandatory and not optional. They say that “big fishes” will always show their name while authors that are not working in well-known institutes are suspected to hide something then they go for the double-blind option. Other people are of the opinion that double-blind is the wrong way. In fact, fully open reviews are the method of choice in their eyes.

However, Nature will start with this project in March 2015 and we from BMG LABTECH think that it is worth a try and should be tested for a couple of months. Like in every research experiment a certain number of tests need to be done to have a statistically approved result. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let us know what you think...