In 2022, LS 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.
Medhat Fanous, Aspirus Iron River Hospital, USA
Dr. Medhat Fanous is a general surgeon at Aspirus Iron River Hospital in Michigan, USA. His expertise is in general surgery and GERD management. He established a comprehensive antireflux program with diagnostic (EGD, pH study, EndoFLIP, Manometry) and therapeutic capabilities. His team performed hundreds of endolumenal (transoral incisionless fundoplication and Stretta), laparoendoscopic and laparoscopic antireflux procedures. His research focus is on outcomes of various antireflux procedures and optimization of hiatoplasty in laparoscopic repair of hiatal hernia.
A healthy peer review system, according to Dr. Fanous, should be expedient, fair and anonymous. The outcome of a peer review gives authors feedback to improve their work and, critically, enables the editor to assess the manuscript’s suitability for publication.
However, one main challenge for authors is the fact that they cannot respond to a rejection of their work. This leads to frustration as reviewers could easily miss the novelty of the article. To address this, Dr. Fanous believes that the review system should provide the opportunity for authors to engage the reviewers in a healthy debate. The limited number of expert reviewers, on the other hand, can lead to inexperienced reviewers evaluating manuscripts beyond their expertise. This could lead to inappropriate acceptance or unfair rejection. Dr. Fanous expediently declines to review manuscripts regarding topics that are not related to his area of expertise.
Being a reviewer as well as an author, Dr. Fanous emphasizes that full disclosure of conflicts of interest (COI) is imperative in protecting the integrity of research. In his own practice, he decided not to have any financial or non-financial COI in order to provide an impartial conclusion of his clinical research without external influence.
“The work of reviewers is critical to the advancement of science. Every journal depends on the volunteering of reviewers who examine the merits and refine each article before publication. As a reviewer, I learn from the manuscripts and the responses of the authors to my queries. I gain insights that improve my own practice,” says Dr. Fanous.
(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)