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Transparent peer review

Publishing peer review reports

In the interests of promoting transparency around the editorial process, Journal of Cell Science will now be publishing a ‘Peer review history’ file alongside published papers, where the author has opted in to such file being published. All research papers submitted on or after 1 August 2019 are eligible. This file can be found on the ‘Info & metrics’ tab on the article page, and will include decision letters, referee reports and author point-by-point responses, along with a timeline of the submission and revision process, and the name of the handling editor. Reviewer reports will be published under a CC-BY license.

Authors will be able to opt out of having their peer review history files published, but we hope that most authors will be happy to include these as part of the published record. Referees, by accepting to review a paper for Journal of Cell Science, will be indicating their willingness to have their comments published, although we will maintain anonymity unless a referee chooses to reveal their identity.

Note that, in addition, Journal of Cell Science no longer has a section for confidential comments to the editor, as we think that all information should be included in the report to the authors.

Comments made through the cross-referee commenting process will not be published.

We hope that these files will provide additional insights into the published paper, by way of commentary from experts in the field, as well as opening up the process of peer review to interested readers.

Please note that the Journal of Cell Science reserves the right not to publish a ‘peer review history’ file relating to a paper in special cases, for example, if the tone or language used is inappropriate or defamatory or due to an ethical consideration.

If you have any queries or feedback on this new policy, please contact the Editorial Office at

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