The journal PLOS ONE announced today that it is has "removed" a reviewer whose remarks about a manuscript by two female researchers caused an uproar earlier this week. "[W]e have removed the referee from our reviewer database," wrote Damian Pattinson, PLOS ONE’s editorial director, in a Web posting.
The journal has also "formally removed the review from the record, and have sent the manuscript out to a new editor for re-review. We have also asked the Academic Editor who handled the manuscript to step down from the Editorial Board."
PLOS ONE is also considering ways to make the identity of a reviewer known to submitting authors, Pattinson wrote. "We are reviewing our processes to ensure that future authors are given a fair and unprejudiced review. As part of this, we are working on new features to make the review process more open and transparent, since evidence suggests that review is more constructive and civil when the reviewers’ identities are known to the authors (Walsh et al., 2000). This work has been ongoing for some months at PLOS ONE, and we will be announcing more details on these offerings soon."