Over the year, many AOJ reviewers have made 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.
Pascal-André Vendittoli, University of Montreal, Canada
Toshiharu Mori, Shin-Kokura Hospital, Japan
Maury L. Hull, University of California Davis, USA
Dr. Pascal-André Vendittoli is the Professor of Surgery and Clinical Researcher in rthopedic surgery at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital/University of Montreal, Canada. Over the last 18 years, he has also offered private services as a surgeon at the Duval Clinic. Aiming at offering patients a normal quality of life and a forgotten joint replacement, he spent the last 18 years seeking ways to improve his patients results. With his team, he developed a very effective enhanced recovery protocol allowing safer THA and TKA outpatient surgeries. In 2016, he did the first ERAS outpatient THA and TKA in Canada. As a pioneer, he introduced multiple new implants and surgical technologies in the Canadian field. He is the founder and current president of the Personalized Arthroplasty Society.
Dr. Vendittoli’s principal research activities are the evaluation of new surgical techniques, new technologies and new orthopaedic implants, mainly in the framework of prospective and randomized trials. In recent years, his work was presented more than 325 times at peer-reviewed congresses, and he was invited on more than 225 occasions as speaker. He published more than 150 scientific articles on hip and knee arthroplasty in peer-reviewed journals. As a Professor of Surgery at UdeM, he supervised fellows, master students, and doctoral students (PhD). He is the Program Director of the postdoctoral program in hip and knee reconstruction at Montreal University. For more information about Dr. Vendittoli’s research, please visit here.
With the arrival of electronic media, we are overwhelmed by information. As the quality of information varies greatly from one medium to another, the presence of a quality review committee for a newspaper is essential. To Dr. Vendittoli, the quality of a peer review committee, combined with the supervision of the editor, is a guarantee of the newspaper's reputation and its long-term survival.
In Dr. Vendittoli’s opinion, a good reviewer must clearly identify the objectives of the study and offer comments that will enhance the content of the scientific article. The reviewer should avoid including personal preferences and instead propose a systematic structure that meets the scientific needs. Clear suggestions for improvement should be provided. The changes requested should allow readers to better understand the issues of the study and simplify the reading.
From a reviewer’s perspective, Dr. Vendittoli thinks that following reporting guidelines when submitting a paper to a journal is essential. However, it might not be important to publish the guidelines as long as the editorial board has made sure that the guidelines were followed.
“I spend a lot of time editing scientific articles. With my students and fellows, it is a very beneficial educational method to teach them how to properly write their own scientific paper. I also consider that for every paper I have published myself, I have benefited from the volunteer work of other reviewers, so I am indebted to them in turn,” concludes Dr. Vendittoli.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)
Dr. Toshiharu Mori, MD, PhD, is the Director of Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shin-Kokura Hospital, Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Associations, Kitakyushu, Japan. His areas of research include hip joint surgery, foot and ankle surgery, pediatric orthopaedics, sports medicine, and bone biology. He is actively involved in several academic societies, just to name a few, Japanese Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Member, Japanese Pediatric Orthopaedic Association, and Japan Osteoporosis Society. He received the Best Poster Award at the 18th Annual Research Meeting of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association in 2003.
In Dr. Mori’s opinion, peer review is the only way to prevent mistakes and exaggerations from misleading science. During review, reviewers should have a clear idea of the reviewing paper. They should also point out why the topic is important, and clarify that it is an important issue at the moment.
Being asked how different work tasks can be prioritized under heavy workload, Dr. Mori says, “I don’t have a hard time because I think that learning and evaluating the latest data that interests me will help me contribute to the progress of medicine. I am honored to have the opportunity to provide feedback on the discoveries of others. I have great respect for my integrity and the efforts of my colleagues and hope that my suggestions will always be positively acknowledged.”
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)
Maury L. Hull
Maury L. Hull, PhD is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California Davis, USA. He currently directs the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory housed in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. His research centers on developing improved surgical procedures for treating knee injury and disease with a current emphasis on total knee replacement surgery. Working with colleague Stephen M. Howell, MD, a recent highlight is development of a new surgical technique for total knee replacement surgery termed kinematic alignment. Dr. Hull has been an active contributor to the scientific literature with more than 250 papers published in archival journals. Among his honors for achievement in research is the H. R. Lissner Medal from the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2007. Dr. Hull’s profile can be found here.
Peer review plays an important role in improving the written presentation and contents of manuscripts that merit publication, and in preventing publication of manuscripts where the contribution and/or methods are questionable. In Dr. Hull’s experience, reviewer comments often point out the need to clarify explanations, ways to improve organization, and ways to strengthen the contribution. Therefore, he prefers his own manuscript to be subjected to peer review.
Biases are present in any form of peer review. Dr. Hull tries to minimize bias by judging manuscripts based on what is written without regard to authors, institutions, or funding sources. He adds, “If I feel that my review might be biased for any reason, I return the manuscript to the publisher and decline to review it.”
Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. In Dr. Hull’s opinion, data sharing can be very worthwhile. In many instances, he reads a published paper thinking that he would like to perform an analysis not described in the paper. If he has access to the data, he could perform that analysis. Hence, data sharing can magnify the impact of the results produced by a given study. Data sharing can however be challenging in clinical studies due to rules enacted to protect patients’ identities. Therefore, regardless of country, all researchers undertaking clinical studies should be mindful of the benefits of data sharing and take whatever measures that are necessary at the outset of their study to ensure that data sharing is possible.
“Two considerations motivate me to serve as a peer reviewer. One is to maintain quality of what is published. The other is reciprocity; others are investing their time to review my manuscripts and so it is only fitting that I reciprocate and invest my time to review theirs,” says Dr. Hull.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)