Year : 2014 | Volume
: 2 | Issue : 2 | Page : 85-
Saluting the unsung heroes: The reviewer
Barun Kumar Nayak
Editor-JCOR, P. D. Hinduja National Hospital & MRC Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim, Mumbai - 400016, India
Barun Kumar Nayak
Editor-JCOR, P. D. Hinduja National Hospital & MRC Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim, Mumbai - 400016
|How to cite this article:|
Nayak BK. Saluting the unsung heroes: The reviewer.J Clin Ophthalmol Res 2014;2:85-85
|How to cite this URL:|
Nayak BK. Saluting the unsung heroes: The reviewer. J Clin Ophthalmol Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 May 27 ];2:85-85
Available from: https://www.jcor.in/text.asp?2014/2/2/85/130533
Scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal is a long and continuous process, which involves many people in its course such as researchers/authors, editor, editorial board members, publisher, and reviewers. In the whole list, probably the reviewers are the only ones who provide their services without any apparent personal gain.
Researchers/authors have maximum stake as their hard work needs publication for dissemination of science. Most of the editors, except editors of Indian journals, are paid for their services. Names of editorial board members get highlighted as they appear prominently in the journal, which adds to their prestige in the academic circle. Obviously, the publisher works for monetary gains. The reviewer acts as "gatekeeper" for the entry of proper science alone. Their job is very important because articles are accepted or rejected by editors, wherein their critical comments play an important role. Understandably, editors are not experts in all fields. Hence, reviewers who are experts in their particular field, guide the editors regarding quality and merit of the manuscript. In brief, they help in quality control of the publication. It has been rightly said that during peer-review process, the article gets "value addition" because of the reviewers. In spite of providing such great help to the authors and editors, names of reviewers of any particular article are never revealed, as majority of the review process is blinded. As a token of appreciation, some journals do send gifts or invite them to a gala dinner, but most of the journals do not pay any remuneration to the reviewers. However, all the journals publish the names of their reviewers in the journal, once a year. Then the question arises, "What do they get out of this voluntary job?" According to me, it gives them the satisfaction that they are furthering science. It also is known to help them get promotion, especially in teaching jobs. Sometimes editors do include good reviewers on their editorial board. As a spin-off, sincerely reviewing articles makes reviewers good researchers and improves their own writing skills.
Some of the authors take a chance by submitting their articles to good peer-reviewed journals with two ideas in mind. First, if the article gets accepted, they are happy. Second, in case the article gets rejected, they are still satisfied as they realize that the article has been critically reviewed and the reviewer's comments have helped them improve it so that it can be submitted to another journal. As Editor, I have realized that authors get depressed but do not grumble even if their article gets rejected, if they are provided with the reviewer's critical comments. Further, they realize that their important task has been done "free of cost"!
What does the author look out for in a journal when he/she decides to get his/her work published? To begin with, it depends on the quality of articles that get published in a journal, which is also reflected by the high Impact Factor that the journal has earned over period of years. Authenticity of the papers plays a significant role. Lastly but most importantly, quick decision regarding the status of the manuscript is always in the minds of the authors. If one looks closely at the process of reviewing an article on the whole, by the reviewers, one will realize that all the above quality of a journal are dependent on the quality and timely response from the reviewer. One should also appreciate the fact that majority of the reviewers work anonymously.
I, as past Editor of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology (IJO) for 6 years and as Founder-Editor of Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology and Research (JCOR) have fully realized and now acknowledged the important role played by the Reviewer. Through this editorial, I salute them for their anonymous and selfless service, which they provide to the editors, willingly without expecting any favors in return.