Or maybe, in light of today’s editorial, Nature’s Choices, inciteful. The editors:
offer an explanation of how we pick research papers for publication in Nature, focusing on a number of false impressions that we have become aware of in and beyond the research community.
Myths addressed include gaming impact factor, kowtowing to big names, using only a small clique of reviewers per discipline, and allowing a single spiteful reviewer to derail a submission. And, indeed, they do not at all mind admitting outright that:
… there were several occasions last year when all the referees were underwhelmed by a paper, yet we published it on the basis of our own estimation of its worth.
Hmm. Refreshing honesty, but one wonders the long-term outcome of these papers and whether reveiwers whose recommendations were ignored (particularly if there was consensus, unbeknownst to them, among the reviewers against publication) were inclined to accept more Nature manuscripts for review, having had their time, effort, and expertise discounted by an editor’s prerogative. The editorial explains that decisions on which papers to publish are made
on the basis of criteria such as the paper’s depth of mechanistic insight, or its value as a data resource or in enabling applications of an innovative technique.
Well, at least no tarot cards seem to be involved. In the end, they conclude:
Myths about journals will continue to proliferate. We can only attempt to ensure that the processes characterized above remain as robust and objective as possible, in our perpetual quest to deliver to our readers the best science that we can muster.
Perhaps continue with the transparency as part of your “attempt to ensure … as possible”? Perhaps remind readers of how you “become aware of” false impressions and channels through which concerns can be raised, such as your thoughtful but undersubscribed Peer-to-Peer blog?