Reviewer of the Month (2021)

Posted On 2021-08-27 15:39:28

Over the year, many LCM 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.

July, 2021
Dan Larhammar, Uppsala University, Sweden

August, 2021
Arthur de Sá Ferreira, Augusto Motta University Center, Brazil

July, 2021

Dan Larhammar

Dr. Dan Larhammar is a Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. His research concerns evolution, neurobiology, endocrinology and pharmacology. Previous work included discovery of receptors for neuropeptide Y and their roles in appetite regulation, and the evolution and specialization of vision genes. Presently the emphasis is on the mechanisms of long-term memory and on G protein-coupled receptors. Teaching responsibilities include the listed topics as well as alternative medicine, herbal medicine, placebo effects, critical thinking and research ethics and misconduct. He was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2007 and presently serves as the President of the Academy (2018-2022). Dr. Larhammar’s full profile can be accessed here.

Research is often quite difficult and many aspects have to be considered, both theoretical and practical/methodological. In Dr. Larhammar’s opinion, peer review by experts is necessary to ascertain high quality and to avoid unnecessary mistakes and pitfalls. Ideally, a reviewer should strive to provide constructive feedback and suggest reasonable improvements in methodology, description and interpretation. Having said that, it is sometimes necessary to point out mistakes and mis- or over-interpretations of the results.

From a reviewer’s point of view, Dr. Larhammar stresses the importance for authors to disclose Conflicts of Interest, as it can work both ways: the scientific achievements of others can be either uncritically favored or unduly criticized.

Despite the fact that reviewing papers is non-profitable and anonymous, Dr. Larhammar is motivated to do so by a sense of obligation to the scientific community and to society as a whole. He explains, “Peer review is required to maintain high scientific quality. For me personally, detailed reading of the work of colleagues is an opportunity to learn more about approaches and methods. I also learn from the comments provided by other reviewers.”

(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)

August, 2021

Arthur Sá Ferreira

Dr. Arthur de Sá Ferreira works as an adjunct professor at the Augusto Motta University Center (UNISUAM) and a researcher at the Laboratory of Computational Simulation and Modeling in Rehabilitation of the Postgraduate Programs in Rehabilitation Sciences and Local Development at UNISUAM, Brazil. He is currently a full member of the Brazilian Association for Research and Graduate Studies in Physiotherapy (ABRAPG-FT), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Dr. Ferreira has experience in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, acting on the following subjects: human functional movement, biomedical signal processing, computational modeling, biostatistics, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular physiotherapy and traditional Chinese medicine. Dr. Ferreira is available on the following platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Publons, ORCID, and his personal page.

Peer review is a system in which researchers from different backgrounds and expertise can collaborate to better report research findings. During the process, biases are inevitable. It is always a question to reviewers as to how to minimize biases during review. Dr. Ferreira explains, “I try to minimize personal biases through empathy. By putting myself in the submitting author’s position, I can better understand the authors’ rationale and point-of-view in every aspect of the manuscript – particularly from the choice of methods to the discussion.”

Data sharing has been prevalent in scientific writing over the last decade. To Dr. Ferreira, it is an important feature of scientific publishing as it may increase transparency and foster methodological and publishing ethical practices. For this reason, he encourages researchers to share their research data to their peers and other parties.

I enjoy learning from colleagues in my field. By means of peer review I can learn from discussions with my peers and hopefully also contribute to my research field,” says Dr. Ferreira.

(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)