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Back to the Drawing Board for Peer Review

Nature's experiment with an open peer review process has ended, according to an editorial in today's issue ($) of the journal. The trial, which began in June, aimed to size up another model for peer review, as the existing scheme has begun to show its flaws (remember those papers in Science that were recently retracted?) and continues to be a burden on reviewers.

For the new process, authors were given the option of opening up their papers, prior to publication, for comment from the community. In Nature's examination of the trial, they wrote, "Despite the significant interest in the trial, only a small proportion of authors opted to participate." For those who did, their papers received few responses. "Feedback suggests that there is a marked reluctance among researchers to offer open comments," Nature concludes.

In its latest editorial, Nature says it will continue looking into new approaches to peer review, such as allowing comments on articles after they're published. Hey, Nature -- ever noticed at conferences that most people aren't especially vocal until the bar opens? There's a model worth exploring.

 

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.