In 2023, ALES 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.
Maximilian Berlet, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Dr. Maximilian Berlet serves at the department of Surgery at the University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich. His research areas include robotics in medicine, telehealth, artificial intelligence in surgery, and model-based medicine. Learn more about him here.
In Dr. Berlet’s opinion, peer review is one of the most fundamental institutions in science. It guarantees a comprehensive evaluation of the results presented in a scientific article or thesis. The reviewer plays the role of a guardian, preventing the specific scientific field from unintentional or even deliberate faulty conclusions. On the other hand, he thinks that the author benefits from a critical but benevolent evaluation to complement an article with aspects that would not have been taken into account without the stimulating advice of the reviewer. Thus, both the scientific field and the authors profit from peer review.
Dr. Berlet reckons that peer-reviewing in their specific field of science is the duty of every scientist. Reviewers should never forget that they expect a critical but constructive analysis of their own work conversely and transfer this expectation to the review process. Hence, the purpose is not to prevent supposed competitors from publishing their results but to serve the scientific progress in the field. Even the non-recommendation of acceptance can be a worthy contribution and stimulate the authors of a rejected article to rethink their approach. Therefore, reviewers must always emphasize what fundamental shortcomings lead to their decision. Any research effort is worth discussing, as progress often requires several tries before achieving success.
Though peer reviewing is anonymous, Dr. Berlet believes that peer reviewing is mandatory to foster high-quality science and avoid hasty or inconsiderate publications. An article can influence its scientific field in both directions. It can lead to improvement if its approach and the derived conclusions are of good quality. On the other hand, it can damage the field by introducing low-quality methodology or faulty conclusions. Especially in medical research, this is a genuine peril as it concerns patients' integrity.
(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)