Reviewer of the Month (2023)

Posted On 2023-09-21 15:52:09

In 2023, SHC reviewers continue to make outstanding contributions to the peer review process. They demonstrated professional effort and enthusiasm in their reviews and provided comments that genuinely help the authors to enhance their work.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding reviewers, with a brief interview of their thoughts and insights as a reviewer. Allow us to express our heartfelt gratitude for their tremendous effort and valuable contributions to the scientific process.

July, 2023
Gabor Kiss, University Hospital Felix Guyon, France

November, 2023
Paolo Albino Ferrari, Oncology Hospital A. Businco, Italy

December, 2023
Shamus R. Carr, National Institutes of Health, USA

July, 2023

Gabor Kiss

Dr. Gabor Kiss currently serves at the University Hospital Felix Guyon, France. After completing his studies and medical training in Brussels (Belgium) as well as in the UK and Australia, he has been working as a consultant anaesthesiologist for the French public health system, where he developed his main research interest for non-intubated thoracic surgery (NITS). He is currently working in the field of anesthesia for cardiothoracics and vascular surgery and its postoperative intensive care unit in the French overseas territory of the Reunion Island. Connect with Dr. Kiss on LinkedIn.

Biases are everywhere, even in peer review. To minimize biases, Dr. Kiss tries to do all his best by looking only at facts and data. However, some papers have room for improvement in terms of phrasing and context; in reviewing this kind of paper, he has to give valid reasons to support his review comments in order to minimize bias, though the process would require a lot of time if that is being done thoroughly.

As a reviewer, Dr. Kiss urges authors to disclose Conflict of Interest, which, to him, is an absolute obligation because it could mean dependence with an impact on an impartial interpretation of scientific data and study results.

Reviewing gives me the opportunity to update my knowledge, to learn about the progress in medicine and to keep in touch with the international medical community,” says Dr. Kiss.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

November, 2023

Paolo Albino Ferrari

Dr Paolo Albino Ferrari is a Consultant of Thoracic Surgery at Oncology Hospital A. Businco in Cagliari, Italy. After completing his studies and medical training, he worked in the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation at ISMETT-IRCCS in Palermo - UPMC Italy. He is currently involved in the operative bronchology service, local interstitial lung disease program and thoracic traumatology. He has more than 1,000 major thoracic and vascular surgeries to his credit. His research interests include lung and mediastinal surgery, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, advanced post-surgical functional recovery strategies, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery in non-intubated patients. He recently participated in developing international clinical guidelines on perioperative management and "enhanced recovery" after lung surgery. He is the author and co-author of several scientific articles, takes part in the editorial board and reviewer board for international scientific journals, and is a National and International Surgical Scientific Societies member. Learn more about him here.

Dr. Ferrari thinks that the major limitation of the current peer-review system is related to the absence of a review check on the first review step. Defining an effective method that makes the review outcome even more favourable would be desirable by constituting the flowchart of reviewing manuscripts with multiple levels. It should help to avoid exploiting the peer review. Moreover, it could reduce the lack of transparency in the process with only a minimal increase in speed.According to Dr. Ferrari, a reviewer should be an active researcher with extensive experience in the subject and have a significant list of relevant and recent publications. He must be able to effectively distinguish study outcome, weighing in a balanced way impulses for an acceptance or rejection.

In addition, Dr. Ferrari shares an interesting story when he participated in a peer-review process of a manuscript for a Q3 journal. After the major revisions requested, he was the only one to give a positive opinion for publication. However, finally the same manuscript was then published in a Q1 journal two months later. “Don’t be influenced by others’ opinions, if you elaborate a solid peer review and the authors make you happy with their revision,” adds he.

Dr. Ferrari believes that the purpose of institutional review board (IRB) review is to assure, both in advance and by periodic review, that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in the research. Without IRBs, procedures consistent with a solid research design would not be used, unnecessarily exposing study participants to risks and, thus, making it impossible to use procedures already performed on subjects for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

December, 2023

Shamus R. Carr

Dr. Shamus R. Carr, MD, is currently an associate research physician and staff thoracic surgeon in the Thoracic Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Clinically, he specializes in minimally invasive approaches to thoracic malignancies. His research focuses on exploring genetic and epigenetic alterations in early-stage lung cancer and ways to both identify and treat those most likely to recur. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dr. Carr indicates that reviewers need to be able to set aside any bias that they may have and approach each manuscript with an open mind. As the field of medicine and human biology continues to advance, so does the complexity. Therefore, being willing to take time during a review to educate the reviewer only goes to improve the scrutiny of a manuscript and ensure that poor science is not published.

In Dr. Carr’s opinion, two different factors motivate him to review. First, reviewing helps him stay abreast of advances in his fields of interest as there are too many journals and articles published to read them all. Second, the feeling that his review is helping to ensure that good science is performed before it is published is critical, especially as preprint publications prior to peer review are becoming more prevalent.

Sharing data in today’s age of large data sets is invaluable, according to Dr. Carr. In addition to allowing others to verify the work, it can also open avenues for others to look for associations that may benefit the research or others and initiate collaborations.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)