Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.
Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation.
We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider other information not available to either party.
Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the scientific community at large, and in deciding how best to serve them, we must weigh the claims of each paper against the many others also under consideration.
Top of page ⤴ All submitted manuscripts are read by the editorial staff.
To save time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem most likely to meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal review.Therefore, we ask peer-reviewers to keep in mind that every paper that is accepted means that another good paper must be rejected.To be published in a Nature Research journal, a paper should meet four general criteria: In general, to be acceptable, a paper should represent an advance in understanding likely to influence thinking in the field.People of all ages and/or levels of knowledge could read these. The journal has very specific guidelines for papers to be published (often this information can be found on the journal’s website), and a rigorous peer-review process (each paper will list when it was submitted to the reviewers, and when it was accepted for publication…often several months apart! You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS.Those papers judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review (although these decisions may be based on informal advice from specialists in the field).Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers, but sometimes more if special advice is needed (for example on statistics or a particular technique).The peer-review policies of the Nature Reviews journals can be found on their websites.Top of page ⤴ We ask peer-reviewers to submit their reports via our secure online system by following the link provided in the editor's email. Each article published in a peer-reviewed journal was closely examined by a panel of reviewers who are experts on the article's topic (that is, the author’s professional peers…hence the term peer review).The reviewers look for proper use of research methods, significance of the paper’s contribution to the existing literature, and integration of previous authors’ work on the topic in any discussion (including citations).