This year Peer Review Week takes place between 10th–15th September. Here we acknowledge the contributions of the researchers who have reviewed for Communications Chemistry during our first 12 months and highlight some of our top reviewers.
It is one year since Communications Chemistry opened for submissions. Since then we officially launched, on 6th March 2018, and have accepted over 50 articles, many of which have already been well-received by their respective communities according to both Altmetrics and preliminary citation data. Next March, when we have been publishing for a year, we will provide a more detailed analysis of our first year’s content.
There are many people to acknowledge after the launch of a new journal; the authors who have chosen to submit their work and publish with us, the Editorial Board Members who work alongside our in-house editors, those who engage with us at meetings or through social media, and, of course, our readers. But we want to take this opportunity to highlight our reviewers. This is particularly timely since this anniversary closely coincides with Peer Review Week.
Every scientist who publishes is aware of the importance of rapid, balanced peer-review of their own work, and the number of requests that they receive to review the work of others. As such, we are particularly grateful to our reviewers, all of whom have given up their valuable time to review for a brand new journal, one with which they do not yet have an established relationship. To date we have consulted over 350 reviewers, who have been generous with their technical expertise, as well as constructive and fair. We would hope that our authors agree that the reviewers’ comments and subsequent authors responses have improved the manuscripts, and the published articles have been more insightful and more robust having been through the process.
Our reviewers are also fast, typically providing their comments within 12 days of agreeing to review. It is primarily this effort on their part that allows us to return our decisions quickly. On average, we communicate decisions after review to authors within 31 days of submission. While we have attempted to streamline our in-house processes for rapid manuscript handling, we have to work around our reviewers’ schedules when it comes to these all-important turnaround times, and so we are also incredibly grateful for their continued efficiency.
We have not been explicitly collecting data on the demographics of our pool of reviewers but we do encourage authors and declining referees to recognise the importance of diversity. Together we strive to ensure that our chosen reviewers reflect the research community in terms of gender, geographic location and career stage.
At this stage we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge some of our top reviewers from this first year, each of whom have in our opinion gone above and beyond what is expected of a reviewer in terms of the value of their reports, the detail of their analysis, or the degree to which they have helped the authors improve their manuscripts prior to publication.
We have tried to select approximately one reviewer per month, and they are listed in alphabetical order. All of these reviewers have consented to being named, and it goes without saying that we are no less grateful to the hundreds of reviewers not named below. For every named reviewer there are many more who made similar contributions to the manuscripts which they reviewed. In short, we are incredibly grateful to everyone that has taken the effort to review for us and has each contributed to the high quality of our output so far.
Professor Barril specialises in computational drug discovery, using in silico methods to characterise binding sites, and develops computational methods for medicinal chemistry.
Dr Brock specialises in applying analytical techniques, including radiocarbon dating and micro-CT, to investigate archaeological, forensic, and environmental samples.
Dr Kapurniotu studies protein misfolding and interactions with polypeptides, with the goal of developing functional peptides for analytical and therapeutic applications in amyloid diseases.
Dr Kurtén uses computational methods to characterise reaction kinetics and mechanisms in atmospheric aerosols.
Dr Nenoff develops nanoporous frameworks for the detection, separation and capture of environmentally important gases and ions.
Dr Pang has a background in chemical engineering and focuses on the use of aminopolymer sorbents for CO2 capture.
Dr Song develops base metal complexes for small molecule activation and catalytic transformations, and designs MOFs for sensing and separation.
Professor Steiner specialises in the photochemistry and spin chemistry of a range of organic, organometallic, and biomolecular systems.
Professor Thordarson specialises in supramolecular and systems chemistry, with a focus on functional, bio-inspired nanostructures.
Prof Wang develops nanostructured, energy efficient functional systems, with socially critical applications in solar energy, water harvesting and desalination, and thermal storage and management.
Dr Zhang develops functional and bioinspired polymers, with a range of potential applications from surfactants to drug delivery systems.
In future, we will be highlighting our reviewers of the month via social media and will be exploring other ways to acknowledge and engage with our peer reviewers. In the meantime what can you do if you’d like to review for us, or any other journal for that matter? We posted some tips for early stage researchers who want to start reviewing on the Nature Research Chemistry Community. Much of this is indeed valid for scientists at any stage of their career, with the one of the key criteria being a descriptive, persistent and discoverable online presence. Finally, it goes without saying that you can always email us if you interested in finding out more about peer review at Communications Chemistry.