The staff and editors of Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM) wish to thank all our peer reviewers for their work in this vital role. We highlight some important changes that have been introduced to improve the peer-review process, for both authors and reviewers.

Peer review is the vital cornerstone of scholarly publication. Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM) continuously aims to improve the day-to-day experience of our hundreds of peer reviewers annually, and occasionally this involves strategic decisions from the editor team. As a result of our discussions, DMM adopted a more collaborative form of peer review in July 2018. DMM peer reviewers now have a 48-h window during which they are invited to comment on the other referee reports before the editor makes a decision. The aim of this ‘cross-referee commenting’ step is to help resolve differences between referees, identify unnecessary or unreasonable requests, or – conversely – highlight valid concerns raised by one referee but overlooked by others. Six months later and at least 20% of papers have at least one reviewer having provided cross-referee comments. We hope to see uptake increase as reviewers become more familiar with the process.

DMM encourages the involvement of postdocs and other early-career scientists in the peer-review process. We ask that the name of the co-reviewer is reported to the Handling Editor, and a field is now provided in the peer-review report form for this purpose. Mentoring early-career scientists in the art of peer review is crucial to the future of scientific publishing; judging by the number of names recorded in the DMM co-reviewer field, it is an opportunity that many of our directly invited reviewers take. The names of all our 2018 reviewers, including, for the first time, their co-reviewers, are listed in the supplementary material. We publicly thank them all for devoting their time and expertise to review for DMM; we absolutely couldn't do it without you.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.

Supplementary information