In DepthScientific Publishing

Judge orders unmasking of anonymous peer reviewers

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 504-505
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6375.504

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Summary

In what appears to be a first, a U.S. court is forcing a journal publisher to breach its confidentiality policy and identify an article's anonymous peer reviewers. The novel order, issued last month by a state judge in California, has alarmed some publishers, who fear it could deter scientists from agreeing to review draft manuscripts. Legal experts say the case, involving two warring fitness enterprises, isn't likely to unleash widespread unmasking. But some scientists are watching closely. The dispute revolves around a 2013 paper, since retracted, that appeared in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

  • Andrew P. Han is a reporter for Retraction Watch based in New York City. This story is the product of a collaboration between Science and Retraction Watch.