Editorial. Peering into review. Nature Medicine 2010; 16:239
The peer review process is a cornerstone of the scientific publication process. Fourteen stem cell editors recently signed an open letter expressing concerns over the confidential peer review process and suggesting the publication of reviewers' comments. A common fear among authors is that rival scientists could make unreasonable demands to intentionally delay or reject the publication of truly original findings. The peer review process might be improved and properly managed, but it is not clear whether publishing reviewers' comments would be the solution. In confidential peer review conflicts of interest should be recognized and additional expertise could be asked to evaluate disputed aspects of a manuscript.