Reviewer of the Month (2024)

Posted On 2024-01-30 14:02:01

In 2024, 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.

January, 2024
Dzmitry Matsiukevich, Washington University, USA

February, 2024
Tamara García-Camarero, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Spain

March, 2024
Marcelino Cortés, Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Spain

January, 2024

Dzmitry Matsiukevich

Dr. Dzmitry Matsiukevich, MD, FACC, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care and Cardiology at the Washington University Department of Pediatrics. With his background including valuable training and clinical experience in both Belarus and the United States, he is currently holding a distinguished position as a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC). His specialization lies in critical care cardiology, and he primarily focuses his academic efforts on studying the molecular mechanisms of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Through his research, he aims to enhance our understanding of HFpEF and contribute to advancements in its treatment.

Dr. Matsiukevich reckons that peer review plays a crucial role in the scientific process as it serves as a quality-control mechanism for scholarly research. It contributes to maintaining the integrity and credibility of scientific research by subjecting it to expert scrutiny. It helps ensure that only high-quality, rigorous, and novel research is published, advancing knowledge and fostering scientific progress.

According to Dr. Matsiukevich, an objective review is characterized by impartiality, fairness, and a focus on evaluating the content or subject matter without personal bias or undue influence. While there are multiple algorithms and structured approach available to ensure that a review is objective, there are several steps one takes, including:

  1. Adopt a neutral mindset and strive to evaluate the content based on its merits.
  2. Carefully examine the information presented, paying attention to its accuracy, completeness, logical coherence, and supporting evidence.
  3. Base the review on observable facts and evidence rather than personal opinions or feelings. Provide specific examples or references to support your statements.
  4. Ensure that you do not have any conflicts of interest (COIs) that may compromise your objectivity.
  5. Clearly articulate your reasoning and support your assertions with evidence where appropriate.

By following these guidelines, one can strive to provide an objective review that is fair, impartial, and based on a thorough evaluation of the content or subject matter.

From a reviewer’s perspective, Dr. Matsiukevich thinks that it is important for authors to be transparent about any potential COIs to maintain the credibility and integrity of the research and ensure that readers have the necessary information to make informed judgments about the findings presented. Transparency helps safeguard the scientific process and encourages trust in research publications. The extent to which a COI would influence research depends on the nature and significance of the interest. A COI can arise when an author has financial, professional, personal, or any other competing interest that could potentially bias the research findings or interpretation. While not all COIs necessarily invalidate the research, it is crucial to disclose them so readers can assess the potential impacts on the validity and objectivity of the study. Additional aspects related to COI should be considered in the context of AI. When it comes to AI systems, potential COIs can arise from a variety of sources, such as financial interests, bias in data sources, or the objectives of the AI developers.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

February, 2024

Tamara García-Camarero

Tamara García-Camarero has been a Specialist in Cardiology since 2009 and got Interventional Cardiology certified since 2012. She is currently working at Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain. With more than 40 papers in medical journals, she is a reviewer of several journals. Taking an active participation in clinical trials in the area of interventional cardiology, she has been an Instructor by the IMS of Boston (Institute for Medical Simulation) since 2014. With large simulation-based teaching background, Dr. García-Camarero is involved in over 40 programs at the Virtual Hospital Valdecilla. Her areas of interest include simulation-based teaching, intracoronary imaging techniques, cardiogenic shock, renal denervation. Connect with her on X @Tgcamarero.

CDT: What are the qualities a reviewer should possess?

Dr. García-Camarero: From my perspective, a reviewer should have a good and updated knowledge of the paper topic, and he/she has to be able to comply with the deadlines proposed. Reviewers should try to read the paper he/she was willing to improve it, such as pointing out ideas or thoughts that are not clear enough, images of tables that are not easy to understand or that are missing key information.

CDT: Why do you choose to review for CDT?

Dr. García-Camarero: I have been invited to do so and I think that reading the papers from a reviewer’s point of view helps me to become a better author and also to get the most of all the scientific literature I read.

CDT: Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. Do you think it is crucial for authors to share their research data?

Dr. García-Camarero: The more the data shared, the more solid the results obtained. Sometimes some authors have great research ideas but they do work in small places with not many resources to accomplish their studies. A better option is joining efforts with some peers with your same concerns to work for a common goal.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

March, 2024

Marcelino Cortés

Dr. Marcelino Cortés, MD, PhD, works at the Department of Noninvasive Cardiology at the Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain. Accredited by the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, he is also Member of the Spanish Society of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology. Throughout his professional career, he has combined his healthcare activity with a research vocation that has covered different topics, mainly in the clinical field: hypothermia in cardiac arrest, periprosthetic dehiscence, cardiac imaging in the guidance of invasive procedures, or imaging in the characterization of cardiomyopathies. His research activity has focused in recent years on heart failure, mainly on the therapeutic management of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction in the elderly population, in combination with other projects that he is currently developing (study of mineral metabolism and iSGLT-2 in heart failure). All of this is complemented by various collaborations with other research teams.

CDT: What role does peer review play in science?

Dr. Cortés: The role of review in science is crucial. Firstly, independent review of scientific activity allows to help authors to improve their projects, providing an external view that often brings new points of view and improvements in their research. Secondly, it helps to maintain the quality and credibility of publications, all of which is necessary for the proper advancement of knowledge and science.

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

Dr. Cortés: Biases in the review may exist. In order to minimize these biases, I think it is important to keep several aspects in mind. First, review those articles in which the reviewer really has a deep knowledge, avoiding reviewing manuscripts that deal with topics where the reviewer has a more superficial knowledge. Second, be completely objective when assessing the interest of the subject matter, the methodology proposed, or the discussion of the results. In addition, justify in a reasoned manner all the comments made during the review. The aim is to provide a constructive, independent and objective assessment of the revised manuscript.

CDT: The burden of being a scientist/doctor is heavy. How do you allocate time to do peer review?

Dr. Cortés: It is true that the medical workload in our environment is high. If we add this to the scientific activity, and the time available for other activities is quite limited. However, scientific activity necessarily entails the activity of a reviewer, given its relevance. In my particular case, I am quite selective when reviewing an article, limiting myself to those manuscripts that deal with my areas of expertise. This simplifies the review, optimizing my time, and also allows other articles to be reviewed by more suitable reviewers.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)