The paucity of comments received by Nature in its Web experiment confirms the obvious: Few scientists can afford the time for peer reviews. Journal editors get paid for their work, so why not compensate outside reviewers? Furthermore, as professional rivalry is a genuine concern, why not eliminate the potential for bias by shielding the names of the authors until publication? Taking these two measures could expand the pool of peer reviewers, catch more faulty research and—just as important—improve the odds of publication for controversial-yet-valid research.

Christopher Esse
Beverly Hills, Calif.

I enjoyed learning about the journal Nature ‘s experiment. Some federal agencies are implementing new procedures for peer reviewing scientific information used in making policy or disseminated to the public. Those “OMB Bulletin” procedures require a high degree of transparency similar to that used in Nature ‘s experiment. While costly and controversial, the procedures have the potential to improve the quality of scientific information on which our government bases its most important decisions.

Natalie A. Roberts
Fairfax, Va.

From the Nature Index

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