As a young(ish) reproductive health epidemiologist whose scientific career will depend in part on publications, it is pretty scary to challenge a Goliath like Lancet journals. I respect these journals deeply. They bring important science to the forefront, they help us to improve health, medicine, and policy. Lancet journals, in particular, also engage admirably on social media and encourage researchers to do the same - better bringing science to the public.
But I experienced a terrible situation when publishing my work at Lancet Infectious Diseases, and it is important to challenge people, even our heroes, to do better. So, it's time to share my story. My intention is that this post contribute to efforts to protect other scientists and journals from experiencing the frustrating situation that I did, perhaps by stimulating more nuanced discussion on how to better prevent and address misconduct by peer reviewers (a topic which receives less attention than misconduct by authors). This issue may also be applicable to discussions on the pros and cons of open peer review. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section.