Should Science Journals Publish Referees Comments with the Papers and Include Sample Workings of Any Statistical Analysis?

I just saw this post (via @Ed Yong). This may just be a typo and more to do with the editing process within the Journal. However its a starting point for discussion of a related issue of transparency in Journals. Scientific research covers a vast expanse of knowledge and this must be matched by the knowledge of the reviewers for those papers. There are various other factors which contribute to the decision to accept or reject a paper in a journal. There is some evidence to suggest that papers can get through with flawed statistical analysis and there is undoubtedly scope for improving the peer review process. Indeed there were some interesting recommendations in the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report. I have two suggestions – should Journals include the comments of the peer reviewers with the final paper so that readers get an insight into how the paper was accepted and identify any flaws in the process? This is a slight variation on the open review process that is beginning to trend in the open science movement. If this became mandatory for all Journals then it would put in place the infrastructure necessary to drive up peer-reviewing standards. The second idea is for Journals to include sample workings of statistical analysis from the researchers. If statistical errors do get though into publications then what better way to improve standards than to include such data for the more statistically savvy readers to check. For clinical data it is necessary to ensure that any data is anonymised and that any samples do not reveal information about individual subjects within the study.

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