Reviewer of the Month (2022)

Posted On 2023-04-19 11:18:54

In 2022, JPHE 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.

August, 2022
Khaldoun M. Aldiabat, Cape Breton University, Canada  

August, 2022

Khaldoun M. Aldiabat

Dr. Khaldoun (Khal) Aldiabat holds the position of Associate Professor at the School of Nursing located at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Recently, he was appointed as the Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing with a focus on Research and Scholarship. Dr. Aldiabat is a co-developer and associate editor of the International Journal of Nursing Student Scholarship, the first peer-reviewed, open-access journal in Canada and internationally that caters to nursing and health sciences students to showcase their exceptional and inventive assignments. Currently, Dr. Aldiabat's research concentrates on Nursing Education in Cape Breton, cancer care management, and mental health and addiction management. His research interests include but are not limited to: Community and Population Health Nursing, Primary Health Care, Health Promotion, Community Mental Health Nursing, Addiction Behaviours (Mainly Tobacco), Chronic Diseases from Community Perspectives, Gerontology, Nursing Research (Quantitative and Qualitative), Helping Relationships and Communication skills, Culture and Immigration, Refugees Health, Nursing Education and Philosophy. Additionally, Dr. Aldiabat is a scientist and researcher affiliate in Nova Scotia Health Scientist, Center of Excellence in Healthy Aging, and SPOR-MSSU (Strategy for Patients Oriented Research).

A healthy peer review system, in Dr. Aldiabat’s opinion, is one that promotes scholarly excellence, transparency, and impartiality. In such a system, peer reviewers are chosen based on their expertise and are expected to provide helpful feedback that enhances the quality of the research under review. Certain key features of a healthy peer review system include: expertise, transparency, impartiality, constructive feedback, and timeliness. Peer reviewers should be chosen for their subject matter expertise and ability to provide insightful and useful feedback. The review process should be transparent and adhere to established guidelines, including disclosing the identities of the reviewers and authors, and providing clear review guidelines. Peer reviewers should approach their reviews with an unbiased and open mindset, objectively evaluating the research's quality and validity. They should provide constructive feedback that authors can use to improve their research, and the review process should be completed in a timely fashion to allow for necessary revisions and publication of the research.

The peer review system is widely used to ensure the quality and credibility of academic research, but to Dr. Aldiabat, it has some limitations that need improvement. One such limitation is that the process is time-consuming and expensive, involving multiple rounds of reviews and revisions that can take a long time to complete. Additionally, reviewers are often unpaid volunteers, which can lead to a backlog of manuscripts and publication delays. Another limitation is the potential for bias and inconsistency in the review process, where reviewers may have personal or professional biases that influence their evaluation of a manuscript, and the quality of reviews can vary depending on the reviewer's expertise and experience.

To address these limitations, Dr. Aldiabat proposes various solutions. First, adopting a more open and transparent review process by disclosing the identities of reviewers and authors can reduce bias and increase accountability. A more collaborative and iterative review process, where authors and reviewers work together to improve manuscripts, can lead to faster publication timelines and more constructive feedback. Another solution is to use new technologies and tools to streamline the peer review process. Automated systems can be used to screen and triage manuscripts, reducing the workload for reviewers, and machine learning algorithms can help to identify potential bias in reviews and flag problematic manuscripts for further evaluation.

As a reviewer, Dr. Aldiabat believes that it is essential for authors to reveal any possible conflicts of interest (COI) in their research or publications. COI may occur when an author's financial or personal interests can influence their research findings or the way they interpret their data. Disclosing COI is vital to uphold the honesty and credibility of research and to ensure transparency in the research process. COI can affect research in various ways. For example, an author who has a financial interest in a specific product may be biased in their findings, resulting in them presenting favorable results for the product. Similarly, an author who has personal connections or affiliations may have a predisposition towards certain outcomes or interpretations of the data. Failing to disclose such interests can lead to questions regarding the impartiality and reliability of the research. Aside from promoting transparency and credibility, revealing COI allows readers to understand the research findings more comprehensively. Readers can evaluate the potential impact of COI on the research results and make a more informed decision about the applicability and significance of the findings to their specific requirements. Numerous academic and scientific journals mandate that authors reveal COI before publication. Authors are responsible for being transparent and providing complete and accurate information about their interests. Neglecting to disclose COI can result in severe consequences, including retraction of publications, loss of funding, and harm to the author's reputation.

There are several reasons Dr. Aldiabat chooses to review for JPHE. He explains, “I have previously volunteered as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals in Western or North America. When I was invited to review a paper for JPHE for the first time, I was impressed with the name that combines Public Health and Emergency. I realized that the term "emergency" can also apply to public health, such as during pandemics. The invitation was courteous and informative, and the recognition of the reviewer's expertise was appreciated. After reading the journal's aim and information for authors, I recognized it as a prestigious and rigorous peer-reviewed journal and accepted their request to be one of its reviewers. I was also asked to write an editorial paper, which was reviewed and published in JPHE, further recognizing my expertise in my field.

Reviewing for JPHE provides me with an opportunity to contribute to the academic community by ensuring the quality and rigor of published research. Providing constructive feedback for authors helps to improve their work and make meaningful contributions to the field. Reviewing for JPHE also allows for staying up-to-date with the latest research developments and trends, as well as building professional relationships with editors and other reviewers from worldwide and specifically from Eastern Asia. Additionally, reviewing for JPHE can lead to recognition and visibility for my own work and reputation as a respected member of the academic community.”

(Brad Li is the main author; Yi Tang, an intern of AME, helped proofread this interview)