Archive for the ‘Reviewer Spotlight’ Category

Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – October 2021

Welcome to this month’s edition of Reviewer Spotlight! 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 Diego Andrada, Marina Kuimova, Sayaka Uchida and Kjell Jorner. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.

Diego Andrada, Saarland University, Germany. Diego’s search focuses on the preparation, description, and applications of main group compounds bearing exotic multiple bonds.
Sayaka Uchida, The University of Tokyo, Japan. Sayaka’s research focuses on synthesis of porous ionic crystals based on molecular metal-oxides with unique guest (ions/ molecules) sorption, conduction, and transformation properties.
Marina Kuimova, Imperial College London, UK. Marina’s research interests are in understanding biologically relevant processes using different types of fluorescence imaging. Marina’s group have developed methodologies in Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) to use viscosity-sensitive fluorophores, termed ‘molecular rotors’, to measure viscosity of cellular organelles and to image a clinically relevant unusual DNA conformation, termed G-quadruplex, in live cells.
Kjell Jorner, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and University of Toronto, Canada. Kjell uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to find new molecules and chemical reactions. Kjell’s special niche is to combine these methods with traditional computational chemistry.

 

What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Marina Kuimova: I enjoy having a ‘preview’ of exciting results before they are widely available! It’s particularly exciting to review a good paper in my direct field of expertise – my goal as a reviewer is to assist the authors in making their work better by spotting something they may have overlooked. 

 

Diego Andrada: I enjoy thoroughly reading high quality work as well as spending time learning/reflecting about new chemistry, and the ways to communicate it. Although a (small) contribution, the opportunity to discuss one to one with authors is priceless.

 

Kjell Jorner: Reviewing is a very good opportunity for me to learn about the latest and most exciting new developments in my field. It is also one of few opportunities nowadays to really read a paper in detail from start to finish and think about it deeply. The ultimate hallmark of a positive review process for me is when the manuscript is improved by collaborative effort of authors and reviewers. It is heartwarming to see authors acknowledge the contribution of reviewers when posting about their paper on Twitter.

 

What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Sayaka Uchida: Chemists usually submit their best papers to Chemical Science, and reviewers are privileged to be the first reader of those high-quality papers. Besides, I review papers because other chemists will review mine, so I also take it as a responsibility.

 

Marina Kuimova: I like publishing my work in Chem Sci – I believe it’s home to high quality research with a broad readership. It is a pleasure to act as a reviewer for a journal where I publish my own research, and part of our duty as authors to give something back to the community, by ensuring the journal maintains its high standards.

 

Are there any steps that reviewers can undertake to improve the quality of their review?

Diego Andrada: Be constructive! You might have a different opinion on the data/analysis. The importance is to clearly state your own arguments. If they turn out to be meaningful, the quality of the manuscript will definitely improve, and consequently your own way of conducting reviews will improve.

 

What advice would you give a first-time reviewer to maximise the chances of successful peer review?

Kjell Jorner: Employ a constructive mindset where you try to focus on the positive value of the scientific ideas and the results. One can always find problems with a paper, but there are often constructive suggestions which can resolve these problems and improve the paper. Keep a respectful and balanced tone where you also highlight the positive aspect of the paper as well as required revisions. Read the paper multiple times, at least twice and on different days. When making requests for revisions, consider the costs in terms of time and money in relation to what the value of the additions.

 

What has been your biggest learning point from reviewing?

Sayaka Uchida: Self-reflection and critical thinking. How I should improve to write high-quality papers with novel and clear messages, logical results and discussion, neat figures, concise conclusions, etc..

 

How do you find that Chemical Science has contributed to your research field?

Marina Kuimova: It is often hard to strike a balance between impact and reaching the right audience when publishing your papers. I believe Chem Sci is one of the journals that maintains this balance well, for chemical sciences research. I think Chem Sci provides a wonderful forum for multidisciplinary research in Chemistry (broadly defined!) and comes with a high impact, as a bonus. I remember the launch of Chem Sci when I was starting out as an independent group leader, and I was very happy that one of my first independent papers was published there and highlighted on the inside cover!

 

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

Keep up to date on Peer Review Week 2021 on Twitter by following #PeerReviewWeek21 and #IdentityInPeerReview.

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 becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

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Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – September 2021

September 20-24 marks Peer Review Week 2021, a week that celebrates the vital role that peer review plays in upholding scientific standards globally. This year, the theme is “Identity in Peer Review”.

Chemical Science wishes to mark this week with our latest Reviewer Spotlights, a new way to highlight the hard work of our reviewers for our community over the past year and encourage further diversity in our reviewer community.

This month, we’ll be highlighting Andrew Weller, Stéphanie Bastin, Marcetta Darensbourg and Satoshi Maeda. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.

Andrew Weller, University of York, UK. Research in the Weller group is based upon synthetic organometallic chemistry and catalysis, and in particular the generation and stabilisation of transition metal complexes that have C–H, B–H and C–C bonding modes with metal centres (via agostic or sigma interactions). We are interested in the fundamentals of synthesis, bonding, structure and reactivity of these complexes, but we also have a strong focus on their use and development in challenging catalytic bond transformations, such as C–H, B–H and C–C activation.
Stéphanie Bastin, LCC-CNRS, Université de Toulouse Stéphanie Bastin, LCC-CNRS, Université de Toulouse, France. My research work focuses on the design and development of transition metal complexes and their application in homogeneous catalysis.
Marcetta Darensbourg, Texas A&M University, USA. The challenge of developing, and understanding, molecular catalysts containing earth abundant metals that perform similarly to the rare and expensive platinum, palladium, rhodium metals is the heart of my research.  Our synthesis program is guided by Nature’s design of enzyme active sites trapped in giant proteins that facilitate organometallic-like reactions.
Satoshi Maeda, Hokkaido University Satoshi Maeda, Hokkaido University, Japan. My study focuses on the development of automated reaction path search methods toward the discovery of unknown reaction channels based on quantum chemical calculations.

 

What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Andrew Weller: I am a great believer in learned society published journals – both in terms of quality, history but also accountability to, and support of, the chemical community. As with many top-tier journals the role of the academic associate editor in the reviewing process, who handles the manuscript, provides me with confidence that the process is overseen by someone who publishes (and reviews) regularly themselves. I think this is vital.

Satoshi Maeda: I consider it as one of my contributions to the community. I try to find and point out parts that readers may possibly have doubt due to insufficient data or ambiguous description. I believe this could be a help to improve the papers.

Marcetta Darensbourg: It is an attractive journal, which speaks to the professionalism of the editorial/production staff, and it has a good editorial board.  One can expect submissions to be sent to the appropriate, knowledgeable reviewers whose comments will be respected.

What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Marcetta Darensbourg: Learning! The invitation to see up to the minute research (or reviews) from others either directly in your field or near it is a privilege.

Stéphanie Bastin: I appreciate the feeling that I am contributing to the development of a field of research other than by publishing my own results.

What makes a paper truly stands out for you when reviewing a paper?

Stéphanie Bastin: In my opinion, in addition to the quality of the results, an article stands out for its clear and careful presentation of the results which must be put into context by a well-constructed introduction of the research topic. In other words, on first reading one should be able to discern the major advances the article brings to the field of research in question.

What advice would you give a first-time author looking to maximise their chances of successful peer review?

Satoshi Maeda: It is of course important that the data and discussion adequately support the conclusions. In the case of Chemical Science, one needs to prepare a manuscript so that its impact can be conveyed even to readers who are not specialists of the authors’ field. For that, it could be a nice idea to include diagrams by which the entire concept can be understood immediately.

Andrew Weller: When you revise your manuscript look at it through the lens of a reviewer. Does it tell as story, are the diagrams clear and in the appropriate place, is it appropriately concise? Also remember that referees are not infallible – once accepted your work will be read (hopefully) by many people (and presented at group meetings). So a clear message, that has a narrative arc, and avoids unnecessary detours into results that simply do not fit the story, will be well received both by referees and then the scientific community when it is published. Less is more sometimes (I must remember that advice myself!)

 

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

Keep up to date on Peer Review Week 2021 on Twitter by following #PeerReviewWeek21 and #IdentityInPeerReview.

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 becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

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Introducing our Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

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