Peer Review Tips from Our Mentees

EmadEmad Qayed, MD, MPH, FACG

Chief of Gastroenterology

Grady Memorial Hospital

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine


Why do you feel peer review is an important skill in your career?

In the academic setting, this helps me improve my teaching of gastroenterology by providing the scientific context to clinical recommendations suggested by trainees. I help fellows prepare high-quality journal club presentations by providing important insights about the strength and weaknesses of the research article. I have become more successful in publishing my research papers due to the experience I have gained in paper review. Overall, I truly enjoy manuscript review, so for me it feels less like a task or duty and more like an enjoyable hobby.

Time management (work-life balance) is key to successful peer review. Can you give specific tips on how you schedule your time for peer review, from the time you get invited to the time you complete your task?

  • It is hard to find a full 2-3 hours of dedicated time to review an article. Therefore, I usually divide the work involved in reviewing an article into 3 parts.
  • During the first part, I print the article, read the abstract, familiarize myself with the topic, and perform my own brief literature review. This part I usually complete in 1 session.
  • For the second part, I read and analyze the entire manuscript and mark my comments in writing on the printed article. This part I usually perform in multiple, small sessions using any spare time (waiting for procedures, before meetings, in the airport). If I have more time, I complete it in 1 session.
  • For the third part, I sit down and transcribe my written comments from paper into the final review to submit online. Overall, I usually complete these 3 parts in 5-7 days.

Any tips on how to efficiently approach a paper?

  • Stay focused on the major aims and methods of the research article.  Do not spend too much time on formatting and scientific writing style.
  • If there are too many core limitations of the study, and you are confident of the decision to reject, highlight the most important limitations rather than outlining every single point in detail.
  • If the aims and methods are sound, then spend more effort on analyzing the discussion.
  • Focus on the author’s interpretation of the results and their applicability to clinical practice.
  • Allow the authors to give their opinion in these areas, as long as they state their opinions as such and not as concrete recommendations.

Any advice for future mentees on how to get the most out of the GIE Peer Review Mentorship Program?

  • The mentee reviewer program allows new reviewers to join the peer-review process under the supervision of a more experienced reviewer. This interaction and collaboration with the mentor makes the review process more enjoyable, and the mentee gradually develops the skills needed to create high-quality reviews.
  • For mentee reviewers, it is important to forward the manuscript to the mentor as soon as you accept a review. If you feel confident and want to proceed with the review, do so and send the comments to the mentor. If you would like more insight or have questions about the study, ask the mentor for pointers before you start the review.
  • The efficiency and quality of the mentor-mentee reviewer team depends on their relationship, responsiveness to email, and dedication.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for GIE, please contact the editorial office at

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