Over the year, many JPHE reviewers have made 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.
Ann M. Moore, Guttmacher Institute, USA
Masayuki Saijo, Sapporo City Health and Welfare Bureau, Japan
Cherie M. Kuzmiak, University of North Carolina, USA
Ann M. Moore
Dr. Ann M. Moore is a Principal Research Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany - State University of New York, USA. She received her PhD in sociology with a specialization in demography from the University of Texas-Austin in 2004. She has co-authored both quantitative and qualitative work on reproductive health issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the United States. Substantively, she has focused on abortion experiences and access, domestic violence and reproductive health, adolescents, unsafe abortion and maternal mortality. She has served on the board of directors for the National Network of Abortion Funds and Student Pugwash, USA. Dr. Moore is a member of the Population Association of America, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, and the Union of African Population Studies. A full profile of Dr. Moore can be accessed here.
“Peers are the best judges of high quality scientific contributions,” says Dr. Moore. To her, the peer review process, if done well, is the best way to provide relevant feedback and critiques of work so as to retain a high standard of rigor to what is included in scientific journals.
But the next question arises - How do we ensure the peer review process is done well? In Dr. Moore’s opinion, reviewers should have deep knowledge of the field in which they are reviewing, an ability to critically evaluate manuscripts for soundness of argument, use appropriate analytical methods, clarity of writing, relevant conclusions from the results, and whether the findings in fact move the field forward. It is also important for them to check if there is any potential conflict of interest as it could potentially bias the quality of the critique and the recommendation of whether the article should be published.
“I choose to spend my free time providing peer reviews because 1) it is a way to mentor others in the field (albeit anonymously) to become stronger contributors; 2) it facilitates getting important findings into the literature; and 3) it helps me see what is coming down the pipeline so that I am aware of the newest results emerging from the field,” says Dr. Moore.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)
Dr. Masayuki Saijo, MD, PhD, is Director of the Medical Planning Department, Sapporo City Health and Welfare Bureau, Sapporo, Japan; and a Honorary Member of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan. He received his MD and PhD from the Asahikawa Medical University respectively in 1987 and 1991. His fields of research include virus infections such as viral hemorrhagic fevers and emerging virus infections, and pediatrics. Dr. Saijo’s full profile can be accessed here.
Whenever Dr. Saijo review a manuscript, he always keeps in mind how sincerely the authors have written the work. And thus he will review the work sincerely and professionally. To him, a healthy peer review system should be based on and supported by honest and professional reviewers.
Nevertheless, biases are everywhere and inevitable in peer review, which adds a further layer of difficulties to reviewers’ work. Dr. Saijo explains, “I do not consider minimizing potential biases is the best way, but consider that reducing potential biases and reviewing with my experiences and carriers as a scientist are required.”
To enhance the quality of a research, Dr. Saijo strongly recommends authors to share their research data. He deems that sharing research data can strengthen credibility of the scientific power that will ultimately contribute to human society.
“The motivation of me to peer review is to contribute to the scientific community as a scientist with experiences. Furthermore, I can learn a lot of things through making a review of manuscripts written by other scientists,” says Dr. Saijo.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)
Cherie M. Kuzmiak
Cherie M. Kuzmiak, DO, FACR, FSBI is a Professor of Radiology and the Director of the Breast Imaging Division at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, USA. She is also the Director of the RAD-AID North Carolina Breast Cancer Screening Initiative and a faculty member of the American Institute of Radiology and Pathology. She is a member of the expert panel of the American College of Radiology Committee on Appropriateness Criteria in Breast Imaging and a Steering Committee member for the international ECOG-ACRIN Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography Imaging Screening Trial. In addition, she holds other multiple professional leadership roles within her subspecialty. Her current research focus is upon breast cancer genomics, digital breast tomosynthesis, magnetic resonance imaging and artificial intelligence/machine learning.
Improving the quality of science – is the most paramount purpose of peer review in science, according to Dr. Kuzmiak. Nonetheless, the peer-review process is not without biases. What should we do to minimize them? Dr. Kuzmiak keeps an open mind to the purpose, methods, results, discussion and the conclusion of the manuscript. In addition, she always bears in mind that her goal in peer reviewing is to assist the author(s) in improving the manuscript for potential publication. Concurrently, reviewers can learn new information from the manuscripts reviewed, which she regards as one of the most fascinating aspects about peer reviewing.
Speaking of the use of reporting guidelines such as STROBE and TREND, Dr. Kuzmiak emphasizes that it is important for authors to follow these guidelines. They help in the format, not only for the review of the manuscript, but also for the readers of the published content. They also allow readers to compare and contrast other manuscripts on the same subject of interest more easily.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)