The Reviewer of the Month for December 2023: David Olmeda, 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 manuscripts they’ve reviewed.

This month, we’re pleased to announce that the Reviewer of the Month Award goes to David Olmeda, PhD, previuosly an independent researcher at the Institute for Biomedical Research (IIBm) in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Olmeda’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 Dr. Olmeda 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.

I’ve dedicated my work to understanding how tumors spread by developing mouse models that allow for a systemic study of the metastasis process. Studying metastasis is tricky because it’s not just about the tumor, but also its interaction with the immune system and other organs far from the tumor. The challenge is to look at the big picture, seeing how all these parts communicate and affect each other during metastasis. By using mouse models, I aim to study this process from a broader perspective, hoping to unveil the complex signals going back and forth, which could lead to better strategies to confront metastasis.

How has the peer-review process evolved over the years, and where do you see it going in the future? How do you ensure that you remain impartial and objective in your reviews?

The escalating number of journals and publications in recent years has notably heightened the demands on reviewers and editors, making the peer-review process more challenging. With a surge in review requests, finding the time to conduct thorough reviews while juggling other professional responsibilities has become a significant hurdle. The pressure to provide timely and constructive feedback amidst a growing pool of scholarly work can be daunting, potentially impacting the quality and efficacy of the review process, which is a cornerstone of academic integrity and advancement.

Approaching the review process honestly is a crucial counterbalance to these challenges. By limiting reviews to areas of genuine expertise, reviewers can offer insightful and meaningful feedback that significantly contributes to the scientific discourse. Moreover, the review process should be seen not merely as a task but as a golden opportunity to learn and grow professionally. Engaging with the latest research in one’s field, dissecting the methodologies, and providing constructive criticism not only benefits the authors but immensely enriches the reviewer’s own understanding and perspective. This reciprocal exchange of knowledge underscores the review process as a continuous learning journey, fostering a culture of collaborative growth and shared pursuit of scientific excellence.

In today’s rapidly evolving scientific landscape, what are some of the emerging trends or best practices you have observed in the field of scientific publishing?

In the swiftly changing scientific arena, the rise of open access journals is a noteworthy trend. These journals play a vital role in democratizing access to scientific knowledge, breaking down the traditional paywall barriers. By offering unrestricted access to research findings, open access journals foster a more inclusive and collaborative scientific community, where insights and data are shared freely. This, in turn, accelerates the pace of innovation and broadens the dissemination of scientific understanding, making it accessible to a wider audience including policymakers, practitioners, and the public at large.

We’re thrilled to honor Dr. Olmeda 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 strive for excellence in their work and will encourage everyone to value the peer review process as an essential part of the scientific publishing ecosystem.