Reviewer of the Month (2023)

Posted On 2023-10-03 20:28:35

In 2023, CDT 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.

March, 2023
Scott J. Cameron, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA
Inga Voges, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

April, 2023
Simon W Rabkin, University of British Columbia, Canada

June, 2023
Pietro Scicchitano, Hospital "F. Perinei" Altamura (BA), Italy

July, 2023
In-Chang Hwang, Seoul National University, Korea

August, 2023
Arun Jose, University of Cincinnati, USA

September, 2023
Martin Burtscher, University of Innsbruck, Austria

October, 2023
Jorge Salamanca, La Princesa University Hospital, Spain

November, 2023
Amir Kazory, University of Florida, USA

December, 2023
Chiara Foglieni, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Italy

March, 2023

Scott J. Cameron

Scott J. Cameron is from Scotland, where he originally trained as a research pharmacologist before moving to the U.S. and training as a cardiologist and a vascular medicine specialist. He serves as the 8th Section Head of vascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. He is experienced in acute cardiac care and managing thrombotic emergencies, including heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and dissecting aortic disorders. He has been able to sustain an extramurally-funded basic and translational research lab since 2016 to study aortic aneurysms and platelet dysfunction in vascular disorders. He manages a team of scientists at the Lerner College of Medicine, and he is a PhD mentor. His laboratory discovered that platelets become reprogrammed in diseases such as heart attack and peripheral artery disease. When platelets are reprogrammed, they do not respond as predicted to medications, and they are trying to figure out why. Connect with Dr. Cameron on X @2scottish.

CDT: What do you regard as a healthy peer-review system?

Dr. Cameron: I am a frequent reviewer and an associate editor. Ideally, peer review should be double-blinded to avoid nepotism. I try to give the benefit of the doubt and offer the authors the opportunity to revise a manuscript. I seldom reject an article unless it is clearly not for the audience the journal serves, or if the study is fatally flawed or there is evidence of scientific misconduct. The peer-review process should be viewed as an opportunity to improve a manuscript. Peer review almost always happens on nights and weekends, which means uncompensated time away from family. Authors and occasionally associate editors of journals sometimes forget that since they tend to be goal-focused. As an associate editor of two journals, I never try to over-tax a good reviewer. A good associate editor should also recognize when they need to step in and mediate a reviewer who clearly has lost the ability to be objective. For example, if an author has responded to every point of a reviewer satisfactorily and the reviewer returns with another dozen new questions, I will step in and, by way of personal policy, will never use that reviewer again because they have taught me something about their nature.

CDT: What are the limitations of the existing peer-review system? What can be done to improve it?

Dr. Cameron: A major issue is the number of journals now available, especially with fee-for-service, open-access journals. This should stop as the quality of manuscripts and peer review changes when money is involved. I receive 5-10 daily emails from such journals – sometimes a solicitation to submit a manuscript and often to review. We also need more time. I wish I had another 6 hours in each day.

CDT: Peer reviewing is often anonymous and non-profitable, what motivates you to do so?

Dr. Cameron: I review over 40 journals a year because I view this as a vital academic service and a common courtesy. I have also benefited from rigorous peer review, which has improved my own manuscripts. Sometimes the reviewers come up an amazing experiment that I didn’t think of. I respectfully decline to review an article when I am extremely over-extended at work (clinical service, major deadline, etc.) or on vacation because I feel that ethical peer review requires absolute attention to detail. This mindset can also be applied to grant reviews.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

Inga Voges

Inga Voges is a consultant in pediatric and adult congenital heart disease at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel (Germany) with expertise in cardiovascular magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and further special interest in pediatric cardiomyopathies. She is the chair of the imaging working group of the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC) and the chair of the research committee of the German Society of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease. Prof. Voges is highly involved in clinical research in the field of congenital heart disease and cardiovascular MR imaging.

In Prof. Voges’ view, an objective review of a submitted article should be handled as an unbiased assessment of the author’s work. It should be free from personal biases and focus on the research topic and the clinical and scientific impact to help in a fair decision-making process. The review should consider positive and negative aspects, and she typically creates a list of strengths and weaknesses to get a good overview and to provide an objective and fair statement. Typically, the journal will provide a list of review criteria, which also helps to write a good objective review. Furthermore, she believes it is important to have a good knowledge of the research topic that the manuscript is about and to know the relevant and most recently published literature to make one’s review as objective as possible. Finally, the feedback given to the authors and editors should be precise, polite, and professional.

Several qualities are essential for a reviewer, according to Prof. Voges. First, the reviewer should enjoy the review process and enjoy spending time in evaluating manuscripts about their scientific quality and clinical importance. Being objective and able to critically evaluate manuscripts by considering positive and negative aspects is another quality that seems to be of relevance in her opinion. A reviewer should have a good knowledge of the research topic and be open-minded to new methods and approaches. If criticism is expressed, it should be clear and polite but also constructive, as this might help the authors to improve their work. The review should be done on time and not under time pressures. To conclude, a good reviewer should be able to provide a fair and objective expert opinion in a timely manner.

Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy (CDT) is a well-known journal that publishes articles in the field of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery. I choose to review for CDT not only because I am a congenital cardiologist interested in research but also because CDT is publishing on a variety of topics that range from more technical works and basic science to clinically important articles. Hereby, it reaches a wide readership and supports interdisciplinary scientific research,” says Prof. Voges.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

April, 2023

Simon W Rabkin

Simon W Rabkin is a Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a staff cardiologist at Vancouver Hospital. He trained in Cardiology at Emory University, basic science and clinical investigation at the University of Cincinnati, and he learned cardiovascular epidemiology from leaders in the field, including David Sackett, Jerry Stamler and Archie Cochrane. Dr. Rabkin has a strong commitment to the education and training of researchers. He developed and founded the program in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia which is now one of the largest postgraduate programs in the Faculty of Medicine. He practices clinical cardiology and has an interest in health care delivery. He is a Past President of the Canadian Hypertension Society and the Vancouver Community of Care Medical, Dental and Allied Health Care Association. He has published over 300 scientific papers or book chapters. Dr. Rabkin’s current focus is on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, brain-heart interconnections and heart failure.

A constructive review, according to Dr. Rabkin, is one that points out the problem or issues with a manuscript and provides suggestions for additional analysis to correct those deficiencies. Alternatively, it permits the author to add to the discussion section material to alert the readers to understand the limitations of their research. Limitations do not mean that the manuscript has no validity but rather permits the reader to place the research efforts within the context of the literature in the field. A destructive review, on the contrary, is one that rejects the authors’ work as one that has no value and does not outline the “errors” in research methodology. Further, it does not provide guidance to assist the authors in improving their hypothesis formulation, formulating their next research plan, improving their research methodology, or performing a better study.

Data sharing has been prevalent in scientific writing recently. To Dr. Rabkin, data sharing has many challenges. First, the investigators who acquired the data have spent a considerable amount of time and energy in doing so. As such, the investigators should be allowed to publish and utilize that data after it is completed. Afterward, if there are scientists with new hypotheses that would contribute to advancement in science and medicine, it is reasonable for the data to be scrutinized again or shared. One must always recognize that the original data set may not have been set up to answer secondary questions, so it carries some risk of arriving at spurious conclusions when it is repeatedly analyzed.

The physician/scientist role is a challenging career. It requires the individual to be an excellent physician caring for their patients involves knowledge of the patient’s disease, psychosocial aspects of their life impacting on their disease as well as obtaining the best possible diagnosis and treatment for the patients. A scientist must be up to date with current research, develop novel hypotheses, and work to execute a good scientific investigation. While such challenges make a more difficult career, it is also a very rewarding one. I view peer review as an important component of my physician/scientist role in which I hope to contribute to the advancement of medical science,” says Dr. Rabkin.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

June, 2023

Pietro Scicchitano

Dr. Pietro Scicchitano is Medical Doctor at Cardiology Department, Hospital "F. Perinei" Altamura (BA) - Italy. He gained a PhD Course in Biomolecular, Pharmacological, and Medical Sciences, Oncology Department, University of Bari, Italy. He is a Member of the ESC Working Groups on Peripheral Circulation, Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology, and Council on Stroke, a former member of the ESC Working Group on Acute Cardiac Care; from 2013 to 2020, he was a member of the directive nucleus of SIC Hypertension, Prevention and Rehabilitation Group and its vice-coordinator from 2019 to 2020. He is also an ANMCO fellow, a member of ANMCO Apulia regional directive nucleus (2021-2023), a co-chairman of theYoung ANMCO Area, and a member of ANMCO National Directive Committee. He is the author of 160 full articles, 300 abstracts, and 5 book chapters. His research interests include endothelial function, cardiovascular biomarkers, cardiovascular pharmacology, heart failure, and preventive cardiology. Connect with Dr. Scicchitano on X.

The way Dr. Scicchitano sees it, scientific papers should provide the most intriguing scientific novelties: the research of novelties should be the main objective when reviewing papers. A solid scientific structure of the paper is the utmost aim when reviewers are approaching the text. Nevertheless, the comprehension and knowledge of medical statistics should be the main skill of the reviewer for effectively understanding the goodness of the research.

However, the current peer-review process is not without limitations. According to Dr. Scicchitano, one major limitation would be the lack of blindness in certain occasions. Reviewers should not identify authors as authors should not be aware of the identity of peer reviewers. Besides, lack of recognition for the peer-review work is another limitation: peer-reviewers should be recognized and internationally considered for scientific career advances. Dedicated committees able to assess the integrity and intellectual honesty of peer reviewers would improve the difficulties in recruiting valid peer reviewers.

I enjoy evaluating manuscripts in order to try to suggest points for possible improvements of the papers. I think that we all need external evaluations as different points of view might suggest ideas and advice able to increase the robustness and strength of the scientific work. As I usually chase suggestions for improving my papers, I also try to do all my best to help authors from all over the world,” says Dr. Scicchitano.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

July, 2023

In-Chang Hwang

Dr. In-Chang Hwang is the Associate Professor in the Cardiovascular Center and Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. His medical journey began with residency training in Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Hospital, followed by Cardiology fellowship training at both Seoul National University Hospital and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. In addition to his clinical training, he earned a Master's degree in the Department of Medicine from Seoul National University and is currently a PhD candidate. Dr. Hwang’s professional career focuses on cardiovascular imaging, particularly in the echocardiography laboratory. His research interests are rooted in cardiovascular imaging, covering a range of cardiovascular diseases, including cardiomyopathies, valvular heart disease, and heart failure. His overarching research goal is to explore the intricacies of hemodynamics and cardiac function through various imaging modalities, and in particular, he has been dedicated to studying myocardial strain using speckle-tracking echocardiography. Connect with Dr. Hwang on Twitter @Inchang_H.

CDT: What are the qualities a reviewer should possess?

Dr. Hwang: Above all, I have reservations about my qualification as a Monthly Reviewer and acknowledge that there's room for improvement to reach the status of a qualified reviewer. Nevertheless, it would be a distinct honor for me to share my personal insights to be a qualified reviewer. First and foremost, I firmly believe that a reviewer should be an expert in the specific field related to the manuscript under review. Possessing up-to-date background knowledge, informed by the most recent evidence, is a fundamental quality for any reviewer. Secondly, a reviewer should perceive the peer-review process as an indispensable contribution to the advancement of science and take pride in their participation in this process. I am of the opinion that the pride of reviewers can lead to more critical and beneficial reviews, ultimately enhancing the quality of the manuscript. This, in turn, can make a valuable, albeit incremental, contribution to the progress of science. Thirdly, it is crucial for a reviewer to be thorough, not only in assessing the manuscript at hand but also in searching for related research and recent findings from other studies. This diligence serves the dual purpose of avoiding plagiarism and improving the overall manuscript quality. By drawing on contemporary literature, reviewers can offer constructive comments to authors, guiding them towards novel findings that have not yet been explored in the existing literature. This, in turn, adds to the body of evidence in contemporary literature and propels further progress. Lastly, I firmly believe that reviewers must adhere to principles of fairness and remain free from prejudice, as well as any social, political, or financial biases. This is essential to ensure unbiased evaluation of the manuscript, rooted firmly in scientific integrity.

CDT: What are the limitations of the existing peer-review system? What can be done to improve it?

Dr. Hwang: The peer-review system boasts a well-established history of effectiveness, yet it is not immune to imperfections. Authors may encounter overly critical reviewers who focus on trivial matters, leading to unexpected and confusing manuscript changes. Conversely, some authors face lax and less thorough reviews, resulting in swift approvals. The academic integrity, subject knowledge, and scientific competence of reviewers are pivotal components of this system. Recognizing its limitations is crucial, and I believe that reviewers bear a responsibility to elevate the process's overall quality. They should take pride in their role, aiming to enhance manuscripts that make significant contributions to contemporary literature. Additionally, the introduction of a non-financial reward system to compensate reviewers for their dedication might incentivize a more responsible approach and bolster the peer-review system's integrity.

CDT: From a reviewer’s perspective, do you think it is important for authors to follow reporting guidelines (e.g., STROBE and PRISMA) during preparation of their manuscripts?

Dr. Hwang: Certainly, adhering to these guidelines is of paramount importance. Nevertheless, most of the authors who possess experience and competence in crafting high-quality manuscripts are already well-versed in these guidelines. In fact, these guidelines encompass fundamental and essential elements that any manuscript should inherently include. They represent the basic prerequisites for effectively conveying scientific findings. In scientific writing, compliance with these guidelines is not merely a requirement for journal submission; it also serves as a safeguard for upholding a minimum standard of scientific integrity. Authors should strive to incorporate all the elements outlined in the reporting guidelines in their manuscripts, not just as a necessity for journal acceptance but as a means of ensuring that their work maintains, at the very least, scientific rigor.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

August, 2023

Arun Jose

Dr. Arun Jose, MD MS, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. He is also the Director of Pulmonary Hypertension at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. His current research interests include identification and validation of novel biomarkers in pulmonary vascular disease, with a particular interest in pulmonary vascular disease due to liver disease (Porto pulmonary hypertension). He also studies the link between the intestinal microbiome and circulating metabolome, and the value of heart rate variability in predicting treatment response, in pulmonary arterial hypertension. His ultimate goal is to clarify the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie the development of pulmonary hypertension, develop and validate treatments based on these mechanisms, and ultimately improve patient outcomes for this deadly disease.

Dr. Jose thinks that peer review is integral to advancing high-quality science. Peer review helps improve the methodology, significance, and impact of published science, allowing for a fair appraisal of the work. When done correctly, the added scrutiny of the peer-review process can also guard against the public erosion of scientific trust, a growing problem globally.

The way Dr. Jose sees it, a good peer reviewer should be impartial, unbiased, and familiar with both the process of producing and publishing science. The more experience a reviewer has, with the process of publishing science and writing scientific grants, the better their ability is to peer review.

Dr. Jose points out that peer review allows him to gain a deeper insight into weaknesses inherent in his own grants, research projects, and scientific manuscripts, allowing him to improve the quality of his own work. The benefits more than outweigh the time spent.

In Dr. Jose’s mind, some of the best work is funded by external sources [necessitating a Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure), and sometimes the COI has very little bearing on the final research project, as a result of which, the influence of a COI on research varies widely. However, he thinks that disclosure of COI is essential, as it allows the reader to place the work in the correct context, and understand funding sources and potential biases and external factors that might influence the presentation of results.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

September, 2023

Martin Burtscher

Martin Burtscher, MD, PhD, is a retired professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He is honorary president of the Austrian Society for Alpine- and High-Altitude Medicine and he is an active member of the editorial board of various scientific journals. He is still involved in research and peer-review activities and supervising PhDs. His main research areas include hypoxia conditioning (in natural and simulated altitude); exercise physiology with emphasis on mountain sports activities; physiological and pathophysiological effects of (extreme) environmental conditions; epidemiology and prevention of accidents and emergencies in mountain sport activities; and life-style interventions in health and disease, primarily focussing on exercise, environmental and nutritional aspects. Learn more about him here.

CDT: Why do we need peer review? What is so important about it?

Dr. Burtscher: Peer review, provided that it is appropriately performed, undoubtedly represents one of the key pillars ensuring rigorous quality standards for scientific projects and manuscripts. Peer review is so important as we currently do not have a better tool for the evaluation of the validity and originality of research work. Thus, expert and unbiased peer review is indispensable requirement to support maintenance of the integrity of science by uncovering poor-quality research.

CDT: Biases are inevitable in peer review. How do you minimize any potential biases during review?

Dr. Burtscher: Appropriate expertise in the respective research field, sufficient time to rigorously perform the review, giving authors the opportunity to clarify/provide unclear or lacking information, and making recommendations independent on “expected outcomes”, authors’ names and institutions will help to minimize biases during the peer review.

CDT: Peer reviewing is often anonymous and non-profitable, what motivates you to do so?

Dr. Burtscher: Each review represents a learning process and helps to maintain/improve the own specific expertise and for a retired professor it is a commitment to support the scientific community and in particular young researchers.

CDT: Why is it important for a research to apply for institutional review board (IRB) approval? What would happen if this process is omitted?

Dr. Burtscher: The IRB has the important obligation to ensure that research work is performed ethical and scientifically valid. Lack of IRB approval would considerably increase the risk arising from conflicts of interest, jeopardize the right of anonymity (in human research) and most importantly, unnecessarily endanger health and well-being of humans and animals.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

October, 2023

Jorge Salamanca

Dr. Salamanca serves as a Consultant Cardiologist in the Department of Cardiology at La Princesa University Hospital in Madrid, Spain. His educational background includes studying in Valladolid, his hometown, and completing his residency training in Cardiology at La Princesa University Hospital in Madrid. Dr. Salamanca holds full certification as an Acute Cardiovascular Care Certified Healthcare Professional from the European Society of Cardiology. Alongside his clinical training, he has attained multiple Master's degrees from prestigious Spanish universities and is presently pursuing a PhD. His professional focus revolves around clinical cardiology, heart failure, and acute cardiac care. Dr. Salamanca's research interests lie in acute cardiac care, encompassing various cardiovascular diseases such as acute coronary syndrome, non-atherosclerotic acute cardiac syndromes (e.g., Takotsubo syndrome, spontaneous coronary artery dissection, and myocarditis), as well as cardiogenic shock, mechanical circulatory support, and acute heart failure. An exciting journey with an upcoming clinical trial in Takotsubo syndrome will be his next most exciting project. Connect with him on Twitter @Jorge_SV_.

Dr. Salamanca reckons that performing a thorough manuscript critique demands time, and dedication, and often involves conducting background research. The obvious benefits of these efforts may seem modest and typically involve gaining insights into the latest developments in the research field, along with the chance to impact the material being reviewed by the cardiovascular community. He also sees the act of reviewing manuscripts as a contribution to the academic collective and as a form of reciprocity for having one's articles reviewed by others. However, their significance extends beyond the pivotal role they play in deciding acceptance or rejection, and perhaps even more crucially, reviews can significantly enhance an article before its final publication. This is his main interest and motivation. As a reviewer, he strives for proficiency in this task comparable to his efforts in authoring articles.

In Dr. Salamanca’s opinion, mitigating potential biases in peer review requires implementing several key strategies:

  1. Foremost, it is imperative to ensure that the reviewer possesses appropriate expertise in the relevant research field. This ensures a focus on the scientific merits of the work rather than personal preferences or biases.
  2. Additionally, dedicating sufficient time to conduct a thorough and rigorous review process is indispensable. Hasty evaluations may inadvertently introduce biases, so affording reviewers the necessary time to meticulously assess the manuscript contributes to a more objective evaluation.
  3. Providing authors with the opportunity to clarify or supplement information when aspects of their work are unclear or deficient helps prevent misinterpretations and guarantees a fair assessment. This demonstrates a commitment to comprehensively understanding the research before forming judgments.
  4. Moreover, adopting a review approach that is independent of "what I expect" or authors' identities and affiliations is crucial. This entails evaluating the research based on its scientific merit rather than preconceived notions or personal associations.

The implementation of these measures collectively contributes to a more objective and unbiased peer-review process.

Data sharing is, in Dr. Salamanca’s view, one of the cornerstones of modern science that enables large-scale analyses and reproducibility of certain studies. Expected benefits include verification/advancement of knowledge, reduced cost/time of research, and clinical improvement. However, we must avoid potential drawbacks including faults in patients' identity protection and data misinterpretation.

More than an anecdote, Dr. Salamanca values what he has learned from reviewing—the talent and effort he has encountered, the works that have opened new perspectives in his areas of study and knowledge. Ultimately, he likes to think that his reviewed works have helped the authors improve their articles. In some cases, reviewing a paper and suggesting substantial changes may have influenced a rejection from the journal he was reviewing for. However, he later come across that same article in another journal incorporating many of his suggestions and proposed changes. This has strengthened his commitment to reviewing rigorously and objectively for each journal, but always aiming to assist and be constructive for the authors.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

November, 2023

Amir Kazory

Dr. Kazory is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Nephrology, Hypertension, and Renal Transplantation at the University of Florida. He has received nephrology training both in France and US, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology, American Heart Association, and American College of Cardiology. His main academic interests are the nephrologic aspects of heart failure, fluid overload, and cardiorenal syndrome. Dr. Kazory has been actively serving on editorial boards of nephrology and cardiology journals in a variety of roles such as Section Editor, and has published extensively on topics mainly related to collaborative approach to heart failure, fluid volume management, extracorporeal therapy, and cardiorenal syndrome. He is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences around the world. Connect with him on Twitter @AmirKazory or learn more about him here.

Peer review is conventionally defined as the process of evaluating a manuscript or scholarly activity by other experts in the same field with the purpose of ensuring that only high-quality works are published. In Dr. Kazory’s opinion, as such, the role of peer review, which is essentially a quality test of approval, is to determine the scientific validity of a manuscript, the significance and novelty of the results within the context of what is already known about that specific topic, and whether the conclusions of the authors are supported by the findings. It is through this process that the methodology of a scholarly work is subjected to scrutiny, and its adherence to established scientific standards is evaluated. Since editors of a journal cannot fully ensure that the submitted material is free from inaccuracies, it is clear that the manuscript has first to go through this process in order to explore its scientific value and ensure that is presentable to the academic community.

Dr. Kazory thinks that for the reviewers the first step is to keep in mind that every journal has a specific scope which needs to be known to the reviewers to ensure that there is a harmony between what the scholarly work is presenting with what the readership of a specific journal is looking for. While this is in part the responsibility of the editorial board, in many cases, it is only after going through the details of a manuscript that an academician can determine whether it is suitable for a journal.

In addition to this journal-specific point, there are certain general rules for an efficient and helpful review process. In Dr. Kazory’s view, the reviewer has two key roles: 1) evaluate the scientific soundness of the manuscript (such as validity of its methodology, significance and novelty of the findings, and whether the conclusions are backed by the results), and 2) if the manuscript is deemed potentially suitable for publication, to provide constructive, unbiased, and practical suggestions regarding its strengths and shortcomings to help improve its quality.

Each year, most academicians spend several hours conducting peer review, typically on an entirely voluntary basis. Not only do the peer reviewers devote a significant amount of their time and efforts to reading and evaluating the submitted manuscripts, but in many cases, they will also have to consult additional sources of information in order to provide thoughtful suggestions. In my opinion, we should look at this as a crucial service to our scientific community, which serves as the foundation for generating reliable high-quality scholarly works, without which published articles would not have passed the quality test of approval needed to validate and vet scientific research. It also provides the peer reviewers with the opportunity to stay up to date on the latest developments in their field, and to train, practice, and improve their critical thinking in a variety of ways that are likely to benefit their own research projects and writing skill,” says he.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

December, 2023

Chiara Foglieni

Dr. Chiara Foglieni is a researcher at IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital. She was trained as a biologist specialized in cardiac electrophysiology and had a post-graduate training in microbial biotechnologies at “Università degli Studi di Milano”, Milan, Italy. She has collaborated with leaders in the cardiovascular and virology fields, e.g., Attilio Maseri, Paolo Camici, Zaverio Ruggeri, Paolo Lusso, Gabriella Scarlatti, studying the inflammation role in cardiovascular and infective diseases. Since 2005, she has managed a team working on basic and translational research, and her main research interests include: 1) the role of P2X7, MMP9 and blood flow to the vascular cell and platelet dysfunctions (including studies under flow using technologically advanced bioreactors, thanks to the strict collaboration with Bioengineering Department at PoliMi); 2) the molecular mechanisms of coagulation and platelet dysfunction in patients with atherosclerosis or implanting a cardiac device (e.g. LVAD); and 3) the molecular mechanism of myocardial and microvascular alterations in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Foglieni points out that a review would only be objective when one reads and comments on manuscript without being biased against the origin of the study, awaring that any experiment and its interpretation has required an effort. The purpose of an objective reviewer, in her opinion, is not to be polemic and “destroy” a work but to understand what the authors would like to communicate, notice them of the points of weakness and help them to clarify or improve the message where required. An objective reviewer rejecting a manuscript should politely make the author aware of why it is unacceptable. She tries to follow this behavior and she thinks her review is objective when she can positively know if these comments are useful.

The reviewer, giving an external point of view to the authors, could be crucial for a manuscript quality. I think that one of the most difficult things to do when writing a paper is considering the reader: an author automatically assumes that its work is well described, because he has done it. Conversely not all readers are either skilled in the subject or required to receive many details. The reviewer is essential to help authors in finding the balance,” adds Dr. Foglieni.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)