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Issue 481, 7 May 2002

Online addition to traditional peer reviews

A new journal, co-founded by reader in atmostpheric science Dr Ken Carslaw, is making waves through its new approach to scientific peer review.

When papers are submitted for peer review, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics posts them online and holds a commentary session where scientists can debate the work or simply offer helpful pointers. The papers then undergo full traditional peer review, and the referees' comments are also published.

Executive editor of ACP, Dr Carslaw believes this provides the ideal testing ground for new ideas: "Traditional peer review is generally agreed to be a good way of assessing new research. But it isn't problem-free. Good work can be rejected if it clashes with the reviewers' own studies or opinions, or technical errors can be missed, especially where papers span different disciplines."

The journal – at – is supported by the European Geophysical Society, and has published 12 papers since its launch in September 2000.

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