Peer review is central to scientific research and we highly value the time and effort our referees devote to it. As discussed in our editorial this month, Nature and the Nature Research Journals now provide our referees with the ability to download or email a PDF containing a record of their reviewing activity for the Nature journals. We hope that our younger referees in particular can benefit from this documentation of the critical services they provide the larger scientific community and the trust that editors place in those who are regularly called upon to review research papers.
We encourage feedback about how useful our referees find this form of accreditation.
As editors we strive to obtain objective but critical and detailed comments from referees. A 2006 Nature Methods editorial explains what kinds of comments we are looking for. Two recent editorials from other Nature Research Journals also provide highly relevant advice on providing valuable reviewer comments that new and experienced referees should find useful.