The Reviewer of the Month for September 2023: Petar Ozretic, PhD

Peer review is an essential part of the scientific publishing process, helping to ensure that research papers meet high standards of quality and accuracy. Each month, the BiomolBiomed Editorial team recognizes a reviewer who has gone above and beyond in providing thoughtful and constructive feedback on the reviewed manuscript.

This month, we’re pleased to announce that the Reviewer of the Month Award goes to Petar Ozretic, PhD, a Research Associate at the Laboratory for Hereditary Cancer, Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI), Zagreb, Croatia. Mr. Ozretic’s review stood out for its exceptional quality, providing authors with valuable feedback that helped them improve the clarity and rigor of their research.

We sat down with Mr. Ozretic to learn more about his approach to peer review and his thoughts on the current state of the publishing industry.  Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

Please tell us more about your research interests and share your thoughts on recent advances or current issues that are currently shaping your field.

At the moment, my primary research interests involve the role of sex hormone receptors in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, as well as the regulation of Hedgehog signaling pathway genes by non-coding RNAs, specifically miRNAs and lncRNAs, in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. I’ve noticed that the potential of various types of non-coding RNAs, such as lncRNAs, circRNAs, and pseudogenes, to function as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) or ‘miRNA sponges’ has revitalized research on microRNAs. Recently, there’s been an increase in the number of papers featuring the phrase ‘ncRNA/miRNA/mRNA axis’ in their titles.

How do you balance your time between reviewing manuscripts and your own research projects? In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a good reviewer should possess?

Generally, I review manuscripts during the evening, ‘out-of-office’, so reviewing typically doesn’t interfere with my other scientific responsibilities. I believe some of the most important qualities for a good reviewer include attention to detail, a basic understanding of inferential statistics, knowledge of the methodologies used, and of course, a solid understanding of the topic of the manuscript being reviewed.

What are some common mistakes that authors make in their submissions, and how can they be avoided?

Surprisingly, the single most common mistake I’ve observed is that authors often write that data were presented with a mean value ± standard deviation (SD), but then all bar graphs only display a + SD error bar! I would strongly recommend that authors read the submission guidelines carefully before drafting their manuscript, and then thoroughly review the final version before submission.

We’re thrilled to honor Mr. Ozretic as our Reviewer of the Month, and we’re grateful for his contributions to the scientific community. We hope that his example will inspire other reviewers to aspire for excellence in their work, and that it will encourage everyone to value the peer review process as an essential part of the scientific publishing ecosystem.

Editor: Ermina Vukalic

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