What if we allowed the authors and the reviewers of academic papers to interact with each other and, horribile dictu, to know each other’s identies. This PLOS paper believes that we would get better reviews and better papers.
From the abstract: Here we perform a laboratory study of open and closed peer review based on an online game. We show that when reviewer behavior was made public under open review, reviewers were rewarded for refereeing and formed significantly more cooperative interactions (13% increase in cooperation, P = 0.018). We also show that referees and authors who participated in cooperative interactions had an 11% higher reviewing accuracy rate (P = 0.016). Our results suggest that increasing cooperation in the peer review process can lead to a decreased risk of reviewing errors.