Docent of physics Eero Arola received recognition as an exceptionally high-quality peer reviewer
The Institute of Physics (IOP), established in 1874, granted the two recognitions to Docent Eero Arola for the exceptionally high-quality and in-depth peer-review reports in the field of computational and theoretical condensed matter physics research.
The UK-based IOP publishes more than 100 peer-reviewed physics journals. Since 2020, the "IOP Trusted Reviewer Status" has already been granted to approximately 10,000 peer reviewers who produce particularly high-quality peer reviews, i.e., referees who can critically review scientific literature. Of all IOP referees, this recognition is given to the top 15 % group with a 5/5 referee rating.
The "IOP Outstanding Reviewer Award" is awarded annually per journal and its number of recipients is smaller. Last year, for example, approximately 1,000 peer reviewers out of more than 27,000 received the award.
The IOP Publishing (IOPP) is the only physics publishing organisation in the world that monitors the peer review skills of its peer reviewers, trains them and annually awards the best of them.
Peer review promotes research and networking
According to Arola, preparing a high-quality peer review report for an article manuscript is a very multidimensional, scientifically demanding, and laborious process of 12 stages. It involves critical examination of the manuscript, considering its scientific novelty, quality, and merits as well as technical and linguistic formalities, and impact.
"IOPP sees peer review has an absolutely crucial role in science communication, as it helps to improve and highlight new advances in science. The American Association for Scientific Publications WILEY mentions that many of their referees feel that their own research topic competence level, research methods, critical thinking and problem-solving skills have improved because of peer review work. In my experience, peer review can, in the best case, create an international network related to the referee’s research area,” Arola says.
“Acting as a referee gives me a good opportunity to become familiar with the latest theories, computational models and experimental facilities in materials science, upgrade my own knowhow and find new ideas to my own possible research projects,” he emphasises.
Arola tends to compile high-quality reports with a deep grip on the details. In the beginning of his reviewer activity since the early 2000s Arola carried out almost all his peer reviewing tasks for the American Physical Society (APS) and American Institute of Physics (AIP) organizations. On the other hand, during recent years he has carried out only a few carefully selected peer reviewing tasks annually, mainly for the benefit of IOP.
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