Peer-to-peer

What Nature Physics wants

Peer review is the cornerstone of scientific publishing. But it isn’t always clear exactly what Nature Physics expects of its referees. The journal explains in its November Editorial (5, 775; 2009). “Whatever you think about a paper, it is vital to explain to us exactly why you think it. Your colleagues among the other reviewers may disagree with your assessment, and we do not base our decisions on a show of hands. Hence detailed critiques carry more weight in informing our decisions than terse affirmations one way or the other (in most cases we would disregard the latter, regardless of who supplied it). A further point to consider is whether the work presented in a paper is similar to what has been done before — in such a case, please explain exactly what has been done previously and indicate where it was published.” The Editorial outlines the journal’s peer-review process, what the editors look for in a review, how to write the review, and how the editors make their decisions. “Peer review is essential for maintaining the integrity of the scientific record. It’s well worth the effort. And we thank all of you who make it.”

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