Published peer review history | Enriching the scientific record
Last August, PLOS, together with publishers representing over 100 scientific journals, signed an open letter committing to implement transparent peer review in 2019. After several months of development and discussion, we’re excited to share that new options for signed and published peer review will become available across all PLOS journals for new manuscripts submitted after today, May 22 2019.
"Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his works and accomplishments." — Nikola Tesla
Author and reviewer choice
In implementing published peer review history, we’ve chosen a modular, opt-in approach that invites researchers to choose the model that works best for them.

All PLOS journals practice single-blind peer review as a baseline. In practice, that means author names remain on the manuscript throughout the assessment process, while peer reviewer comments appear anonymously in the editorial decision letter. In addition, reviewers and authors each have a choice to make:
Peer Reviewers
Peer Reviewers
As a peer reviewer you can choose to sign your name to your review when you submit it. Remember, if you sign your name the authors and other reviewers of the manuscript will see it.
Authors of accepted manuscripts
Authors of accepted manuscripts
After acceptance, authors can choose whether to publish their peer review history alongside the final article. Your name will not appear unless you choose to sign your review.
Depending on the author and reviewer selections, this allows for four peer review options:
Options for peer review at PLOS
Author agrees to publish peer review history Reviewer agrees to sign peer review comments
Single-blind peer review
Single-blind peer review No No
Signed peer review
Signed peer review No Yes
Single-blind and published peer review
Single-blind and published peer review
Yes No
Signed and published peer review
Signed and published peer review
Yes Yes
What does published peer review history look like?
PLOS’ published peer review history package includes the complete editorial decision letter with the peer reviews, as well as the authors’ responses to reviewers for each revision of the manuscript. When authors decide to publish their peer review history, the package appears on our website alongside the article and is syndicated to PMC.
Peer Review Flow
Why does published peer review history matter?
We believe that increasing transparency during peer review has the potential to enhance scientific communication in key ways:
Enriching the scientific record by capturing expert opinion, giving context to evaluation and publication decisions, and increasing accountability and transparency at all stages of the process
Elevating peer reviews to scholarly outputs in their own right, for which reviewers can receive academic credit
Providing material for training and educating students about peer review
Thomas Shafee
“[Open Peer Review] improves auditability of the article itself and the journal's processes and thoroughness...It also helps build public trust in the process by removing the mystery of secret academic peer review, as well as showing the robustness of the method in action.”
Thomas Shafee
La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
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