In 2022, TGH 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.
Epameinondas Dogeas, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA
Dr. Epameinondas Dogeas is a Surgical Oncologist practicing at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix, AZ, USA. He was born and raised in Athens, Greece, where he also received his medical education from the University of Athens School of Medicine. He completed his internship in General Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by General Surgery residency at the University of Texas Southwestern. After residency graduation, he pursued further training in cancer surgery in the form of a two-year, dual fellowship in Complex General Surgical Oncology and Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. His clinical practice focuses on the surgical management of complex gastrointestinal and HPB malignancies, including performing robotic-assisted complex abdominal operations. In the research arena, Dr. Dogeas’s interests encompass clinical outcomes of primary and metastatic hepatic neoplasms, investigating the diverse biology of neuroendocrine tumors and understanding the mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in colorectal cancer. You may follow Dr. Dogeas on Twitter @edogeas.
In Dr. Dogeas’ opinion, a healthy peer-review system is unbiased, objective, and transparent. Additionally, a healthy reviewer aims to improve the scientific impact of the work that he referees, by ensuring that the methodology is sound, that the conclusions are solidly based on the results and that all pertinent limitations and future directions are discussed in the manuscript. Finally, the points raised in a healthy review should be specific and always articulated in a collegial manner. There should be no role for subjectivity, pontification or deprecation in a healthy review.
It is true that the peer-review system has served the scientific community well for a long period of time, but Dr. Dogeas believes that it has several limitations in its current form. Reviewers are usually busy healthcare professionals or biomedical researchers that engage in peer review voluntarily on top of their other obligations. Therefore, reviewers often perform peer review during their “time off” work, such as weekends, which can eventually lead to burn out. This conflict is particularly pressing in today’s world where there is increasing institutional emphasis on clinical productivity metrics. Furthermore, the current system does not provide a universally accepted method for reviewers to take credit for their time and effort spent in peer review. Consequently, Dr. Dogeas thinks that efforts to improve the peer-review system should focus on recognizing the work of reviewers, which will ensure the long-term viability of the peer-review process. The “reviewer of the month” recognition by TGH is an example of such an effort.
As a reviewer, Dr. Dogeas emphasizes that adherence to reporting guidelines such as ARRIVE and TREND is essential. In fact, that will be one of the first things that he will investigate in a new manuscript for review. Reporting guidelines have been set in place to ensure that methodology remains consistent and to enable meaningful comparisons between the conclusions of different manuscripts. This is particularly important when pooling data together, such as in a systematic review or meta-analysis, where adherence to guidelines becomes critical. All in all, reporting guidelines exist to ensure that our work is reproducible, bias is minimized, and therefore authors should strive to adhere to them when drafting their manuscripts.
“Peer review is a pillar of scientific progress and therefore all biomedical scientists should participate in it when called upon. I rely on peer review to critique and improve my published work and, in turn, I consider it my responsibility to perform the same service for the work of others. I enjoy the opportunity to be amongst the first to see unpublished data and have an opportunity to engage in a productive dialogue with the authors to polish their work and ensure that the final manuscript will be well received by the scientific community,” says Dr. Dogeas.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)