Reviewer of the Month (2024)

Posted On 2024-04-02 17:52:59

In 2024, GS 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.

January, 2024
Hamza N. Gokozan, The Ohio State University, USA

February, 2024
Tânia Rodrigues, Santa Maria Health School, Portugal

March, 2024
Prakasit Chirappapha, Mahidol University, Thailand

April, 2024
José Ignacio Rodríguez-Hermosa, Trueta University Hospital, Spain

May, 2024
Aris I Giotakis, Hippocration Hospital, Athens, Greece

January, 2024

Hamza N. Gokozan

Dr. Hamza N. Gokozan is a triple board-certified pathologist (Anatomic Pathology/Clinical Pathology/Cytopathology) and an assistant professor of pathology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Shortly after his graduation from Pamukkale University Medical School in Turkey, he traveled to the US in 2013 for his post-doctoral research studies at The Ohio State University which was followed by AP/CP residency, chief residency, and cytopathology fellowship at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Upon completion of his training, he served as an assistant professor of pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City for three years. He has been publishing in the field of medicine, including ones in high impact pathology journals such as Modern Pathology, American Journal of Surgical Pathology, and Cancer Cytopathology, where he has also been contributing as a peer reviewer. He serves in USCAP and ASC annual meeting abstract review boards, and chairs the website committee of Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology. His research interests include integration of ancillary studies to daily cytopathology practice, quality improvement in cytopathology, digital pathology and tumors of endocrine/head and neck organs. Learn more about him here.

Dr. Gokozan sees subjectivity as the main limitation of the current peer-review system. Reviewer opinions may be influenced by where the publication is from, or who the submitter is. He suggests double-blind peer review to mitigate it. Another limitation is the reviewer experience. He explains, “I understand it may not be always the case due to reviewer pool availability, but personally appreciate my work being assigned to a reviewer who demonstrated a ‘true expertise’ in the field to evaluate my work. I also believe that reviewers should be rewarded for their time and expertise to advance science. Issuing Continuing Medical Education credits and promoting the reviewers who went above and beyond are few ideas already adopted by many journals!

Speaking of the qualities a reviewer should possess, Dr. Gokozan reckons that he/she should have subject matter expertise demonstrated by written evidence of scholarship or clinical experience, an open mind for papers challenging current status quo, scientific rigor to evaluate the conclusions made in the paper based on the presented evidence, and time availability to submit a critical review on a timely fashion.

I see peer review as a critical component of scientific publishing and an integral part of contributing to scientific advance. Remember that you are the gatekeepers of quality since peer-reviewed publications are regarded as the most trustworthy sources of scientific information,” says Dr. Gokozan.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

February, 2024

Tânia Rodrigues

Tânia Marisa Pinto Rodrigues completed her PhD in Nursing Sciences in 2022 at the University of Porto's Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Nursing in 2013 at the Porto School of Nursing and a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing in 2005 at the Jean Piaget Northeast School of Health. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Santa Maria Health School, Researcher at the Research and Projects Center at the Santa Maria Health School and Researcher at the Research Center for Health Technologies and Services. She has published 5 articles in specialized journals and 2 book chapters. She has supervised 4 master's dissertations and co-supervised 3. She works in the areas of Medical and Health Sciences with an emphasis on Nursing. Her areas of interest are breast cancer, rehabilitation, independence, confusion, musculoskeletal injuries, occupational health and wound care. Learn more about her here.

According to Dr. Rodrigues, peer review is a crucial process in the scientific community because it guarantees the quality, reliability, and rigor of published work. It also ensures access to accurate and relevant information for the development of knowledge and decision-making. She thinks that this process is important because it contributes to: improving the quality of the work, as experts in the field evaluate the work, identify flaws, suggest changes that can improve the clarity, accuracy and relevance of the research; increasing reliability, ensuring impartiality; detecting plagiarism and misconduct, ensuring the integrity of the research; disseminating knowledge, selecting and publishing high quality research; strengthening the scientific community, and promoting sharing and collaboration between researchers, debate and the exchange of ideas. It benefits authors and the scientific community by making publications more robust.

To Dr. Rodrigues, the limitations of the current article review system include: 1) time, from submission to final decision, delaying its dissemination; 2) bias, due to the author's affiliation, nationality, among others, which can lead to the rejection of quality work and the acceptance of poor quality work; 3) lack of transparency, as it is a confidential process, which prevents the disclosure of the reviewer and the specific reasons for rejection, making it difficult for authors to learn; 4) lack of reproducibility, due to inconsistent reviews, making it difficult to compare results; and 5) workload, due to the fact that reviewers are volunteers, without pay, leading to the refusal of reviews. She believes that improving the peer-review system for scientific articles involves: 1) speeding up the process from submission to acceptance; 2) reducing bias by using pre-defined and transparent evaluation criteria, and double-blind review by not identifying authors and reviewers; 3) increasing transparency by publishing the names of reviewers and their opinions; 4) improving reproducibility with more robust and reliable evaluation systems; and 5) recognizing the work of reviewers by providing certificates and publishing the names of reviewers in published articles.

Encouraging reviewers is important for scientific evolution. Their hard and dedicated work in reviewing articles is what makes it possible to guarantee the quality and reliability of the research, to identify flaws and suggest improvements, increasing the quality of the articles, ensuring impartiality, and making the work more robust. Their work is essential for the progression of knowledge. They are the pillar of the peer-review system, guaranteeing the integrity of research, driving scientific progress, and benefiting society as a whole,” says Dr. Rodrigues.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

March, 2024

Prakasit Chirappapha

Dr. Prakasit Chirappapha received his Diploma in Thai Board of General Surgery and Diploma in Thai Sub-Board of Surgical Oncology from Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Afterwards, he was an official visitor at the Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2008 and a research fellow at European Institute of Oncology (EIO), Milan in 2012, where he conducted oncoplastic breast surgery studies. Dr. Chirappapha served as committee and secretariat general in the Thai Breast disease Society (TBS). Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Breast and Endocrine Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand. His research primarily focuses on breast surgical oncology and oncoplastic breast surgery (breast reconstruction, mastopexy, and lipofilling).

Dr. Chirappapha thinks that a constructive review is the kind of review that encourages improvement. It focuses on the work and gives actionable advice or suggestions that motivates and informs researchers how to get better at what they do. Examples of this are reviews that comment on improving behaviour, refining processes, working on weaknesses, or adopting new perspectives. A destructive review, on the other hand, does not create creative thinking and tends to be negative, personal, and lacks guidance on how to enhance performance.

In Dr. Chirappapha’s opinion, addressing Conflict of Interest (COI) is crucial because it can introduce bias into research. It is essential for authors to disclose any COIs in their work to transparently reveal how their financial relationships with companies could influence the study's results. This is important even if the authors are confident that their findings will be unaffected.

I review for GS because it is a quality journal and has a high level of reliability. It has been acknowledged and used as a reference in an international level,” says Dr. Chirappapha.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

April, 2024

José Ignacio Rodríguez-Hermosa

Dr. José Ignacio Rodríguez-Hermosa, MD, PhD, with more than 25 years of experience, is the Head of the Endocrine Surgery Unit of the Department of Surgery at the Trueta University Hospital in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. The Endocrine Surgery Unit covers all fields of thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal surgery. The Trueta University Hospital is the reference center for all endocrine oncological pathology and covers a population of 1 million inhabitants. He is a researcher at the Surgery Research Group of the University of Girona and also at IDIBGI-CERCA (Girona Biomedical Research Institute). Since 2010, he is an Associate Professor of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Girona. In the last 5 years, he has been part of the Ethics Committee of the Trueta University Hospital in Girona. His latest publications focus on the laparoscopic approach to adrenal pathology, both 2D laparoscopy and 3D laparoscopy.

Dr. Rodríguez-Hermosa indicates that there are several important things in the preparation of a manuscript. There must be no conflicts of interest in the research group. The design of the study should be appropriate. In addition, the results must be correct and consistent with those of other groups. Finally, the statistical study must have an impact and the conclusions should be consistent.

Although peer reviewing takes up a lot of our time and the review of scientific articles is not remunerated, it is a personal satisfaction, given that the journal sends it for evaluation to experts on the topic,” says Dr. Rodríguez-Hermosa.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

May, 2024

Aris I Giotakis

Dr. Aris I. Giotakis is an Otorhinolaryngologist and Biologist currently working in Athens. After completing his residency training in 2019 at the Univ.-ENT Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, he continued as a consultant for three years at the same department. His research and clinical interests focused on rhinology, head and neck cancer and salivary gland diseases. Projects worth mentioning are immunofluorescence image cytometry in chronic rhinosinusitis and oropharyngeal cancer, correlation of computed tomography with skeletal nasal obstruction, functional rhinologic procedures and molecular markers in head and neck cancer. The latter allowed him to fulfill his PhD in 2016. After achieving his habilitation (Ass. Professor) in 2021 in Austria, he continued his professional career at the First Univ. ENT Clinic in Athens. He has more than 40 publications in PubMed, 27 of which as a first or corresponding author, and he is reviewer in more than 25 journals.

Dr. Giotakis thinks that peer review is a small, still necessary, link in the long science-chain. It is one of the last checkpoints before publication, with the last being the Editor. It is also a clear view and unbiased interpretation of one’s work, with the latter being often profited from this process. In his opinion, journals should put a great value and effort on finding proper reviewers. Otherwise, science is in jeopardy.

According to Dr. Giotakis, a reviewer should have conducted research, analyzed results and written manuscripts on his/her own, in order to be able to review a manuscript. Furthermore, he reckons that a reviewer should be familiar with the subject written. Occasionally, reviewers might not be able to assess everything in a manuscript properly. Therefore, the more reviewers assess a manuscript, the better.

Speaking of what motivates him to do peer reviewing, Dr. Giotakis says, “One of the main reasons is my former Director in the Univ.-ENT Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, Prof. Herbert Riechelmann. With his substantial motivation, he really did a great job in training me and several other colleagues in solid research and scientific writing. I am trying to do the same with my comments, whenever I get the chance. I also have to mention two reviewers who reviewed my manuscripts in the past, who did the same. Another reason is to ensure high-quality scientific writing. I am putting a lot of effort into writing my texts, and I am trying to improve low-quality manuscripts if the research is solid. Furthermore, it is one of my duties as an academic, among patients and surgery, education of colleagues and students, and conducting and publishing research. Lastly, my father, Prof. Ioannis Giotakis, also ENT, always motivated me to follow his example and perform peer reviewing.”

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)