being in the public domain


I understand "being in the public domain" as "being open to the public (while peer review process should be blind)."

Am I on the right track?

The newly posted update makes clear that the decision to reject the paper is final but does little to explain it. "The Editors have determined they cannot now rectify the problems that were identified, while others are outside of our control - including the manuscript, some comments from reviewers, and the authors' responses now being in the public domain," the statement says. "As a result, the Editors do not see a viable path to providing an independent, fair, effective, and conclusive blind peer review of this article by this journal."

Source: Science. Oct. 14, 2019
Prestigious journal rejects paper about chemical attack in Syria after backlash
  • Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    It means that the article itself, and/or significant discussion of the article, have become public knowledge.

    That means that it is no longer possible to have a rigorous blind peer review. In such a review, anonymity of the authors is essential - the reviewers must judge the article, and the research methodology employed, without being biased by knowing the identity of the author/s and their reputation/s.
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