About the Journal
Reviewers of the year 2012
26 November 2012
Dr. Peter C. Albertsen (USA),
Dr. Jean-Nicolas Cornu (France),
Dr. Gianluca Giannarini (Italy)
Dr. Peter C. Albertsen
As a frequent reviewer for European Urology, what are your thoughts and concerns about the peer review process? Good science requires good scholarship which in turn requires good peer review. The role of a scientific journal is not only to disseminate new information, but also to improve the process of science. Flaws in logic often only become apparent when ideas are outlined on paper. Good peer review requires a cadre of individuals who are well trained not only in their specific fields but also in study design and statistics. Unfortunately, many contemporary fellowships are failing to provide this training. Furthermore, many young scientists are not participating in peer review because of time constraints. We all suffer when this happens.
What are the most important changes you have seen in European Urology during the past decade?
The globalization of science and the publication process has produced dramatic changes in the peer review process during the last decade. Electronic communication has encouraged scientific collaborations that were impossible just a few years ago. The editors of European Urology have been astute to recognize this changing environment and have reached out aggressively to thought leaders in many fields championing new ideas. It has been an honor for me to be able to review and critique the work of so many talented scientists. I encourage young scientists to participate in the peer review process. The rewards of meeting talented colleagues far outweigh the burdens of manuscript review.
Dr. Jean-Nicolas Cornu
Reviewing papers is a considerable investment in time and energy – why do you do it? Publications drive the evolution and diffusion of scientific knowledge. Reviewing is an important community service that requires responsibility and dedication. It is our duty as academicians to contribute to this process. I consider reviewing for the Platinum Journal to be a personal commitment to the advancement of science and knowledge. Moreover, reviewing has distinct benefits, as it allows me to stay current with the latest research, to play a role in the community, and to improve our skills and efficiency as physician-scientists. Reviewing papers and thinking about their quality helps one to write better papers. It is never too early to become a critic. Finally, being well read has another potential major benefit: It facilitates a more objective view of one's own work.
What changes and improvements have you noticed in articles, which have been submitted for reviews over years? The continuous improvement of the Platinum Journal in recent years has contributed to its position as the reference in the field. The quality of the papers submitted to the Platinum Journal has increased steadily, as reflected in the growing proportion of novel research topics, the comprehensive coverage of the relevant urologic literature, good data, and skilled analysis including strong statistics. Permanent changes in the journal, such as the option to submit supplementary data, have enabled the submission of first-rate basic research articles.
Dr. Gianluca Giannarini
How would you describe the evolution of the Platinum Journal over the years and the direction in which it is going? Two avenues are noteworthy. First, the overall quality and appeal of accepted contributions are continuously improving. This improvement is largely due to priority consideration of systematic reviews, prospective randomized trials, and large multi-institutional retrospective studies addressing current topics and unmet needs in uro-oncology. Increasing space is also devoted to imaging, an area of intense research in which rapid technology advances are expected to solve major clinical issues. Second, as a “young” urologist, I cannot help noticing that all current associate editors as well as numerous members of the editorial board at large of the Platinum Journal are around 40 yr of age or younger. I find particularly rewarding Professor Montorsi's strategy of involving young, talented, and motivated individuals who bring novel concepts and give all their energy to help senior experts raise the journal's profile and keep it current with the times.
What advice would you give to authors and reviewers who would like to begin or improve their careers? I started reviewing for European Urology virtually as a beginner a couple of years ago, but this activity quickly fascinated me to the point that, with constant commitment, it has become a prominent full-time function. Two strategies were extremely helpful: (1) reading and reading and more reading of high-quality scientific literature, even on topics not related to urology, and (2) attending international centers of excellence. My experience as a fellow at the Department of Urology, University of Bern, Switzerland, was insuperable and literally revolutionized my way of thinking. Reviewing for the Platinum Journal now offers me the unique opportunity to be in touch with experts in all fields of urology and to continuously advance my knowledge. I believe this is the best way to improve one's skill in medical writing.