In 2023, FOMM reviewers continue to make 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.
Eiji Tanaka, Tokushima University Graduate School, Japan
José Valdir Pessoa Neto, General Hospital of Fortaleza, Brazil
Charles S. Greene, University of Illinois, USA
Rudyard dos Santos Oliveira, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil
Eiji Tanaka is Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan. He graduated from Osaka University Faculty of Dentistry in 1988 and went on to complete his PhD in 1993. He gained his special license as an orthodontist in the same year and his orthodontic instructor license in 2000. He took up his current post in 2008 and, in May 2015, was appointed Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, he has several professional carriers: Visiting professor, ACTA, The Netherlands in 2003; Visiting professor, University of Oviedo, Spain, in 2011; and Nantong University, China, in 2019. His research is centered around the biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint, the application of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound in dental tissue engineering, and the development of orthodontic miniscrews. Learn more about Prof. Tanaka’s team here and his previous works on ResearchGate.
A constructive review, according to Prof. Tanaka, is a positive view of the research results and an attempt to make the research even better. It will help authors to improve and enhance their paper with a higher impact. In his opinion, a paper should only be considered declined when its experimental results are viewed negatively or when the research plan needs to be fundamentally revised. In either case, he is not willing to reject fundamentally the research itself.
From a reviewer’s point of view, Prof. Tanaka highlights that the disclosure of Conflict of Interest (COI) by researchers is indispensable. To him, even if the researchers have COIs, their results may be accurate and reliable; however, the results reported by the researchers with COI should be carefully evaluated.
(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)
José Valdir Pessoa Neto
Dr. José Valdir Pessoa Neto is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at the General Hospital of Fortaleza HGF/CE, Brazil. He is currently having a fellowship in Orthognathic Surgery and Arthroscopic TMJ Surgery at Clínica Neo Face – São Paulo. He graduated from the Dentistry course at the University of Fortaleza – UNIFOR. Dr. Pessoa Neto works in the area of Health Sciences, with an emphasis on Dentistry, Dental Clinics and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He actively participates in congresses, meetings and conferences and is the author and co-author of numerous scientific works and articles in this area. Connect with Dr. Pessoa Neto on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Peer review of scientific articles, in Dr. Pessoa Neto’s view, is a reality achieved with a lot of struggle and dedication by researchers and journal editors, and a necessary approach from journal editors so that we may have scientific literature that is increasingly current and correct. From this, the evaluation and understanding of the most varied topics in scientific literature became much clearer and more precise. To him, it is a rigorous system through which evaluators can individually express their opinions on the most diverse topics, checking whether what is being proposed is promising, innovative, correct and ethical, whether it is complying with the guidelines of the journal in question, making the results extremely relevant to the scientific community and reducing the chance of biases, although not completely eliminating them.
As a reviewer, Dr. Pessoa Neto sees that the reporting guidelines such as CONSORT and TREND are strategies formulated by research entities to guide and format scientific studies in a logical, objective and correct way. Studies that follow these guidelines are, in themselves, more coherent and correct studies, regardless of the topic they address. Therefore, following these guidelines, in his opinion, makes the study more complete and scientifically correct, capable of accurately and completely addressing the themes proposed by the authors.
“From a very early age, still in college, I had an interest in scientific articles, not only reading them but also producing them. Becoming able to read, understand and critically evaluate a scientific article from the most diverse areas was a source of pleasure at the time. Being able to contribute to our scientific community as well as becoming increasingly precise and faithful to concepts and facts is a source of great pride and motivation. I always value the ethical and innovative nature of studies and I’m always very happy to be able to help not only the community but also new authors who seek to enrich us with their studies,” says Dr. Pessoa Neto.
(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)
Dr. Charles S. Greene has been involved for many years in clinical research and teaching in the area of temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain. He has served as Director of Orofacial Pain Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. He was a Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthodontics at UIC. He has published over 150 articles, book chapters, and abstracts and was the co-editor of a multi-author book about temporomandibular disorders (Quintessence, 2006). A new multi-author book on TMDs co-edited by Dr. Greene and Dr. Laskin was released by Quintessence in 2013. In 2015, he was one of four co-editors on a book entitled “TMD and Orthodontics” published by Springer. Dr. Greene is a Life Member of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain as well as the International Association for Dental Research. He retired from UIC in 2018 and is currently Clinical Professor Emeritus.
“The best hope for getting good science information published in quality journals is the peer-review process,” says Dr. Greene when asked about the importance of peer review. In fact, with new open-access online journals increasingly appearing on the scene, many of which invite submissions and charge fees for publishing, the original peer-review process has become even more essential.
In Dr. Greene’s opinion, the review process is a very important responsibility that should not be taken lightly by individuals who are asked to provide this service. They have to be honest about their level of expertise in accepting review assignments, and they should try to offer constructive criticisms or comments when a submission has potential value. However, they also must be able to recognize poor submissions and offer the editors good reasons for rejecting papers when appropriate.
“I have always enjoyed being involved in the editorial process at many levels. In addition to writing research papers with esteemed colleagues, I have served as a reviewer, as a board member, and as a section editor in several journals in my long career. I think it is an honor to be asked by a first-rate journal to act as a reviewer, and I take each assignment very seriously. Being involved in a controversial field (TMJ disorders), it is even more important to make sure that good papers make it successfully through the review process while rejecting the poor-quality submissions that often are assigned,” says Dr. Greene.
(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)
Rudyard dos Santos Oliveira
Prof. Rudyard dos Santos Oliveira currently serves at the Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil. He holds a degree in Dentistry from the State University of Paraíba (UEPB) (2009), a master's degree in Oral Radiology and Imaging from the São Leopoldo Mandic Dental Research Center (2018) and a PhD in Orthodontics from the São Leopoldo Mandic Dental Research Center (2021). He is a specialist in Implantology (ABO/2011), Orthodontics (ABO/2014), Stomatology (SLMandic/2018) and Public Health (SLMandic/2018). He is a professor and a coordinator of a dentistry course in private institutions (2019-2020) and a substitute professor of integrated children's clinics I and II (orthodontics) at UEPB (2022). Prof. Oliveira has experience in Dentistry, with an emphasis on Orthodontics, Oral Radiology and Implantology. He has more than 12 years of experience in dental clinic management, as well as experience in academic management, being part of the INEP/MEC evaluators bank (Basis). Connect with Prof. Oliveira on LinkedIn and Instagram.
FOMM: What are the essential elements of a good peer-review system?
Prof. Oliveira: A good peer-review system contains the following elements: 1) Impartiality - Reviewers must evaluate works based on their scientific merit, without prejudice regarding authors, affiliations or themes. Impartiality is fundamental to guarantee the integrity of the process. 2) Transparency - The system must be transparent regarding the review criteria and procedures adopted. Authors must understand how their works will be evaluated and have access to justifications for reviewers' decisions. 3) Professionalism - Reviewers must conduct reviews in a professional manner, providing constructive and reasoned feedback with respect and consideration for the authors. 4) Reasonable deadlines: A healthy review system should establish realistic deadlines for authors and reviewers, allowing review to occur effectively but without placing excessive pressure on those involved. 5) Continuous improvement: The system must be flexible enough to adapt to changes in research and the expectations of authors and readers. There must be a commitment to continuous improvement of the peer-review process. And 6) Diversity: Involving reviewers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives can enrich the process, increasing the variety of opinions and the quality of reviews.
FOMM: What are the qualities a reviewer should possess?
Prof. Oliveira: There are several qualities a reviewer should possess: 1) Specialized knowledge - A reviewer must have solid knowledge in the area of the work they are reviewing to accurately evaluate the methodology and scientific contribution. 2) Honesty and impartiality - The ability to evaluate work impartially, without failing to recognize merit, is fundamental. Honesty also involves declaring conflicts of interest when appropriate. 3) Effective communication - Reviewers must be able to communicate their evaluations clearly and constructively, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the work in a way that is understandable to the authors. 4) Commitment to deadlines - Meeting deadlines is essential to keep the review process efficient and respect the authors' efforts. And 5) Ethics - Reviewers must act in accordance with ethical standards, avoiding plagiarism, fraud and unethical behaviour.
FOMM: How would you encourage other reviewers who have been devoting themselves to advancing scientific progress behind the scene?
Prof. Oliveira: Peer-review work plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of academic research. Your efforts contribute to the validation and improvement of scientific knowledge. Remember that your dedication and hard work are essential to the academic community. Continue honing your skills, maintaining integrity and impartiality, and know that you are playing a vital role in promoting excellence in research. Your commitment makes a difference.
(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)