Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – December 2023

To further thank and recognise the support from our excellent reviewer community, we are highlighting reviewers who have provided exceptional support to the journal over the past year.

This month, we’ll be highlighting Professor Haoxing Wu, Dr Jennifer Garden, Professor Kanyi Pu and Dr Patricia Rodríguez Maciá. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.


Professor Haoxing Wu, Sichuan University








Professor Haoxing Wu, Sichuan University. Professor Haoxing Wu’s research focuses on developing bioorthogonal tools and applying them to theranostic applications.


Dr Jennifer Garden, University of Edinburgh








Dr Jennifer Garden, University of Edinburgh. Dr Garden’s research uses chemistry and catalysis to improve the sustainability of polymers and plastics. This ranges from investigating renewable feedstocks to making new materials, and is underpinned by the development of catalytic processes.


Professor Kanyi Pu, Nanyang Technological University








Professor Kanyi Pu, Nanyang Technological University. Professor Kanyi Pu’s research interests involve creating special molecular spies that give out specific signals to help doctors spot diseases early and treat them in a personalised way, tailored specifically to each patient.


Dr Patricia Rodríguez Maciá, University of Leicester








Dr Patricia Rodríguez Maciá, University of Leicester. Dr Rodriguez-Macia’s group focuses on studying how energy-conversion reactions such as H2 production and CO2 reduction happen in nature to develop new and more efficient bioinspired catalysts and artificial metalloenzymes for sustainable chemistry.




What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Dr Jennifer Garden: I very much enjoy reading articles in Chemical Science, and the review process is an excellent way to find out about cutting-edge developments in my field. Reviewing manuscripts is also a way to contribute to the chemistry community, and the review process helps me to think about the science from a different perspective.

Professor Kanyi Pu: I am motivated to review for Chemical Science because (a) it is a reputable journal known for publishing exceptional research, spanning both fundamental and applied chemistry; and (b) I wanted to contribute to the scientific community by sharing my expertise and insights in the field of chemistry.

Professor Haoxing Wu: Chemical Science is a comprehensive journal in the field of chemistry, showcasing cutting-edge research findings.

Dr Patricia Rodríguez Maciá: I believe that as a researcher of today, reviewing papers is an important duty to the scientific community. It also allows me to be up to date with the literature, and to be exposed to different scientific perspectives.


What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Professor Haoxing Wu: During the review process, I not only get to stay updated on the latest research findings, but also take pleasure in witnessing the improvement in paper quality.

Professor Kanyi Pu: What I find most fulfilling in the reviewing process is the chance to explore cutting-edge research in my field and the satisfaction of contributing to the scholarly community by providing valuable feedback to enhance the quality and impact of authors’ work.

Dr Patricia Rodríguez Maciá: To be able to read and enjoy the latest scientific advances and to provide constructive feedback on the work. I particularly enjoy seeing that my feedback is implemented and helps to improve the quality of the paper. It is a truly rewarding experience!


Do you have any advice to our readers seeking publication in Chemical Science on what makes a good paper?

Dr Jennifer Garden: In addition to good quality and innovative science, I think it is important to carefully consider what your most impactful results are, and to write the narrative in a way that emphasises their importance within the context of your work, your field and the broader chemistry community.

Dr Patricia Rodríguez Maciá: To ensure that the presented work is original and cutting edge, and very importantly, that it is a solid piece of work and well-reproducible. I find that it is key to explain your findings in a non-specific language easy-to-follow for the general chemistry audience. In this way researchers outside your immediate field can also clearly understand the work, thus reaching a wider audience/readership.


What are you looking for in a paper that you can recommend for acceptance in Chemical Science?

Professor Haoxing Wu: I look for papers that present groundbreaking discoveries in the field of chemistry while also demonstrating a systematic and rigorous approach in their research.

How has your approach to peer reviewing changed over time?

Professor Kanyi Pu: Over time, my peer review approach has evolved. Initially, I emphasised finding flaws, but now I focus on constructive feedback, balancing positives and areas for improvement. I’ve grown more empathetic toward authors, aiming to help them understand strengths and opportunities for manuscript enhancement.


What single piece of advice would you give to someone about to write their first review?

Dr Jennifer Garden: Read the paper with a focus. I try to write a summary of the paper as I read it, to think about whether the topic and level of novelty is suitable for the journal, and to consider whether the scientific evidence fully supports the claims made in the paper. When I first started, I felt a little nervous about reviewing but it gets quicker and easier with experience.


Tune in next month to meet our next group of #ChemSciReviewers!

If you want to learn more about how we support our reviewers, check out our Reviewer Hub.

Interested in joining our ever-growing reviewer community? Apply here now!

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