At Chemical Science, we recognize the many and varied contributions our reviewer community make to the high quality of the research published in the journal. To further thank and recognise the support from our excellent community, we are delighted to introduce our new Reviewer Spotlight feature. Each month we will highlight reviewers who have provided exceptional support to the journal over the past year.
This month, we’ll be highlighting Sangwoon Yoon, Athina Anastasaki, Jeremiah Gassensmith and Yun Chen. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.
Sangwoon Yoon, Chung-Ang University, South Korea. Sangwoon’s work involves the controlled assembly of gold and silver nanoparticles and the study of their plasmonic properties.
Athina Anastasaki, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Athina’s research focuses on controlled radical polymerisation for the synthesis of polymers with enhanced properties and functions.
Jeremiah Gassensmith, The University of Texas at Dallas, USA. Jeremiah studies solid state materials, like MOFs and molecular crystals, and biomaterials, such as viruses, and their interface.
Yun Chen, Nanjing Medical University, China. Yun’s research is focused on the development of mass spectrometry-based chemical mapping and quantification assays towards the molecular understanding of disease.
What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?
Sangwoon Yoon: Reviewing is just a part of my service to the community. It is also a way of communicating with other scientists. I always try to help improve the quality of manuscripts through the review process.
Jeremiah Gassensmith: I usually review papers that I would read anyway and so it’s not very surprising that the papers at Chemical Science would be at the interdisciplinary interface that I enjoy.
What do you enjoy most about reviewing?
Athina Anastasaki: What I enjoy the most when reviewing is the unique feeling that I am the very first person who reads this exciting piece of science. And this is both an honour and a responsibility.
Yun Chen: By reviewing, I can have a chance to get in touch with the advanced level of research in the world.
What are you looking for in a paper that you can recommend for acceptance in Chemical Science?
Sangwoon Yoon: I look at all aspects – whether conclusions are supported by data, whether data are properly interpreted, whether data were acquired using the right methods, whether citations are impartially given, etc.
What makes a paper truly stand out for you when reviewing a paper?
Athina Anastasaki: Cool science is always the most important thing that stands out and this can be better illustrated through good quality and self-explanatory figures.
Do you have any advice to our readers seeking publication in Chemical Science on what makes a good paper?
Jeremiah Gassensmith: Writing papers and cooking food share an open secret—people eat first with their eyes. The figures must tell the story and it is worth every second of your time to get them polished to high art. Good scientists turn good science into art with Adobe Illustrator…the bad ones turn nonsense into science with Photoshop. Learn the difference!
What single piece of advice would you give to someone about to write their first review?
Athina Anastasaki: Treat the authors the way you would like to be treated. As reviewers our job is not to reject papers; this is the editor’s job. Even if the paper will be eventually rejected, our job is to improve it by being respectful and providing constructive feedback.
Did reviewing for Chemical Science affect how you approached preparation of your recent publication with us?
Yun Chen: Yes, absolutely. Reviewing other papers reminds me not to make similar mistakes.
How do you balance reviewing with your other activities?
Jeremiah Gassensmith: Precariously…
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? Send us your CV and a completed Reviewer Application Form to firstname.lastname@example.org.