Bo Sun, MD
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Shanghai Eastern Hepatobiliary Hospital
Peer review can be thankless work because critical evaluation is required for a high-quality submission. On the bright side, being a video case reviewer comes with several benefits, including a sense of accomplishment by assisting the authors to improve the quality of their submission. Peer review is also a way of learning. Some video cases introduce new techniques to solve difficult problems. Others may demonstrate newly designed endoscopic accessories or devices. These new techniques and equipment always enlighten my mind during my daily practice. Additionally, literature journal reading is often needed to address questions raised during peer review, which expands my knowledge as well. Moreover, it is a reviewer’s privilege to enjoy a manuscript ahead of most readers before its formal publication, and it is interesting to read other reviewer’s opinions on the same video case report. Last but not least, critical thinking is fundamental for peer review, which eventually improves the quality of my own submissions.
It usually does not take a long time to review a video case report. It can be done by using spare time in a busy work day or on an airplane during a travel. On my initial review of a video case, I focus on and write down all of the potential weaknesses in the manuscript with my comments or questions. The second step may include a literature search to further compare it with articles that have been published or to assist when I am not confident about my comments and questions. Then I review the video case again and check all of my comments and suggestions until I believe they are clear, constructive, and helpful in assisting the authors’ submission. It is beyond all doubt that following the journal’s Guidelines to Reviewers enables me to successfully implement a constructive critique of the manuscript.