Open letter to Editor-in-chief of Nature

Dear Dr. Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Nature,

In response to Randy Scheckman’s call to boycott top journals such as yours, you issued a press release in which you recognized that we scientists “…tend towards an over-reliance in assessing research by the journal in which it appears, or the impact factor of that journal”. We are very happy to hear that you recognize this problem. We have a suggestion for how the assessment of research could be refocused on its content rather than being evaluated by sometimes unreliable proxies such as the journal brand.

If journals such as yours actively promoted continued review of articles after their publication (post-publication peer review), they would provide scientists with another, more valuable, system with which to evaluate research.  Existing examples of such services include PubPeer and PubMed Commons. Top journals such as yours have the ability to promote this method of evaluation and could help us to replace our reliance on impact factor and other metrics with thorough evaluation of research.  We trust that top journals such as yours will continue to publish high quality research and this system of evaluation will help to make that more evident to everyone.

Please help to remedy this problem by actively promoting post-publication review.