In DepthPeer Review

Edit reviews without permission? Some journal editors say it's OK

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Science  30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6516, pp. 515-516
DOI: 10.1126/science.370.6516.515

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Summary

A survey of 322 journal editors at high-impact journals across ecology, economics, medicine, physics, and psychology has found that 91% of editors would alter a peer-review report under certain circumstances, with or without the permission of the reviewer. More than 80% said they would edit a report if a reviewer used inappropriate or offensive language, or made personal comments about the authors, but 8% said they would change the reviewer's overall recommendation without their permission. The survey comes amid a wider push for consistent guidelines and concerns that a lack of clarity on the issue opens the door to corruption.

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