I just heard of this secondhand, and so I don’t have details of the journal, and even if I did it’s not my place to disclose them, but this bothers me. I am seeking comment:
A friend refereed a paper by a newly minted PhD, who she happened to recognise the work of, although it was blinded, since she knew the lab in which the topic was being researched. She reviewed it honestly and recommended publication with revisions. This is not uncommon. It’s hard in a small field to enforce total anonymity in reviewing. I can occasionally recognise the authorship of papers I review and sometime the reviewers of my papers.
She received a note from the author later to say that the paper had been rejected by the two reviewers, and sent the reviews to her. She found that her own review had been completely rewritten by the editor, and was now a damning attack upon it!
Now editors traditionally have a kind of absolute monarchical power over their journal, and they can reject a paper recommended by the reviewers as they like. They don’t need to rewrite the reviews to do that. I have never heard of reviews being rewritten. Has anyone? And can they give a justification?