From a press release by Nature Publishing Group, June 12, 2006:
Nature is hosting a web debate on peer review at www.nature.com/nature/peerreview. At the same time, authors submitting papers to Nature can take part in a limited trial of open peer review.
The peer review process requires constant scrutiny by those who administer it. Even publishers with new business models have been reluctant to change the traditional model, which functions well. Nature however, believes the shift to online publishing makes new approaches possible and the online debate and trial reflect this thinking.
The web debate will bring together overviews and opinions on peer review: its quality, value, ethics and alternatives. Join the debate...
The trial will allow open comments on those submitted manuscripts selected for peer review. Authors can opt for their manuscript to be posted publicly. Anyone in the field may post comments, provided they are prepared to identify themselves. The trial will allow Nature's editors to assess the value of including these open comments in their decision-making. The trial runs alongside the usual, confidential peer review process.