A few months ago, I wrote a post that prompted a brief twitter discussion with Meghan Duffy about whether we sign our reviews. I tend to sign mine, and Meg tends not to, but neither of us felt completely sure that our approach was the right one. So, we decided that it would be fun to write parallel posts about our views on signing (or not signing) reviews. Here is Meg’s, over at Dynamic Ecology; please read it, as she makes excellent points (all of which I agree with) even while arriving at a different conclusion (and a different default practice) than I do!
A lot has been written about the merits of signed vs. anonymous peer review. There are arguments on both sides (which I don’t intend to review comprehensively), but in general I’m firmly convinced that at least the offer of anonymity is important to getting broad reviewer participation and high-quality reviews. But I sign almost all of the reviews I write. This seems odd in at least two ways. First, here I am plugging anonymity, but I don’t use it much; and second, if I sign almost all of my reviews, why don’t I sign all of them? I’ll try to explain; and I’m trying to explain to myself as much as I am to you, because I’m far from convinced that I’m doing the right thing. Continue reading