Reviewer of the Month (2021)

Posted On 2021-09-06 16:02:23

Over the year, many mHealth reviewers have made 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, 2021
Archana Krishnan, University at Albany, USA

August, 2021

Archana Krishnan

Dr. Archana Krishnan is Associate Professor of Communication at the University at Albany, State University of New York, USA. She is also Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Information Science. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences from the University of Connecticut followed by a postdoctoral fellowship from Yale University in mobile health (mHealth). Her research interests are in computer-mediated communication, health communication and mHealth. She recently completed an NIH-funded study – Project SMART, a randomized controlled trial designed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of electronic pill boxes, smartphones, and communication feedback on medication adherence. Dr. Krishnan’s work has been published in numerous journals including Mobile Media and Communication, Health Communication, Behavior & Information Technology, PLoS One, mHealth, and Computers in Human Behavior. Please visit Dr. Krishnan’s homepage and LinkedIn page for more information.

Peer review is the gatekeeping of scientific research. It involves the active involvement of a community of scholars and practitioners in vetting scholarly work to ensure that they meet the standards of objectivity and rigor. To Dr. Krishnan, the elegance of this system is that it is democratized to a certain degree such that if one is a qualified and productive member of the scientific community, he or she can participate in evaluating their peer’s work. Without this incentive-free rigorous scrutiny of research, we are likely to see a commodification of published work.

Humans by nature are not objective, so it is an interesting quandary as to how to evaluate work in an objective manner. Dr. Krishnan follows a few techniques – (1) evaluating the scientific merits and writing style separately by reading the manuscript at least two times; (2) doing additional readings to strengthen her understanding on innovative or obscure concepts and techniques used in a study; and (3) resisting the urge to look up the authors when the article is not blinded.

As a past user of reporting guidelines including CONSORT and PRISMA in her own papers, Dr. Krishnan appreciates a standardized format for reporting critical information that can enable clarity and consistency across the board. However, she cautions against making these mandatory. She emphasizes that it is important to enable creativity in reporting guidelines as not all papers are built alike.

Amidst rigorous workloads and exacting standards, reviewing for journals can seem like a burden but I would argue that this is one of the most critical functions we perform as scientists. To my fellow reviewers, I would advise limiting their review load to a few articles per year so as to execute in-depth evaluations. As always, quality is better than quantity!” says Dr. Krishnan.

(By Brad Li, Eunice X. Xu)