Peer pressure at the Nature Publishing Group

Karl Ziemelis
Chief Physical Sciences Editor, Nature

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In academic circles (and beyond), peer review is a perennial topic of conversation. The traditional model is increasingly questioned; alternative approaches are proposed and trialled, some even implemented. The nature of formal scientific communication is going through a period of rapid evolution, and accordingly the various processes underpinning this endeavour — of which the peer-review is central — need re-evaluation. But this does not necessarily imply a pressing need for fundamental and wholesale change: indeed, peer review as currently practiced can fairly be described as generally fit for purpose. Nevertheless, publishers and editors need to be constantly alert to the changing expectations of (and pressures on) the scientific community, with a view to providing a service that best satisfies their users’ needs while still accommodating their own journal-specific editorial goals.