Beginning in 2015, Tobacco Control’s senior editorial team has honoured individuals as Reviewers of the Year, awarding them a one-year electronic subscription to the journal and accolades that are well-deserved. As noted in this editorial introducing the awards, these individuals are a “generally invisible group whose unpaid and too-often unheralded work is critical to the journal.” They understand that good reviewing focuses not only on critique as such, but on critique in the form of the supportive, collective effort of one’s peers to improve one’s work, even if it is not yet ready for publication and even if the best possible outcome is learning from a rejection. Their willingness to continue to review papers even as more and more requests come, and to offer honest, thoughtful and tactfully phrased comments have provided so many authors (and their fellow reviewers) with priceless lessons. At a time when many journal editors bemoan the difficulty finding reviewers, these reviewer stars are our heroes.
With the intense work in 2021 of producing Tobacco Control’s 30th Anniversary issue (which came out in early 2022) we somehow missed our reviewer awards, so today we gratefully honour the people below as Reviewers of the Year for 2021 and 2022 combined.
In alphabetical order, the honourees are:
Putu Ayu Swandewi Astuti: Provides detailed and thoughtful reviews. Dr Ayu’s comprehensive knowledge of Indonesia and other countries in the Southeast Asia region, together with expertise in tobacco retail policies provides an important critical perspective which strengthens papers.
Stella Bialous: A perceptive but encouraging reviewer who’s skilled at seeing the potential in papers, and offering helpful suggestions for how they can be clarified and strengthened, Dr. Bialous has also been generous in volunteering her time to help authors from countries without strong publications infrastructure or who need additional help with English to improve their papers, both pre- and post- peer review.
Robert Branston: A dedicated and highly collegial reviewer whose expertise is invaluable. Offers very useful and specific comments, and has been particularly helpful in evaluating authors’ revisions where these require specialist knowledge.
Emily Brennan: An insightful reviewer, skilled at providing critical big picture comments regarding the framing of a manuscript, feedback about methodological approaches, and specific ideas for edits to help a paper’s flow and readability, all with specific suggestions for how to address these issues.
Catherine Egbe: A gracious and perceptive reviewer who is generous in sharing her expertise, and who regularly offers very useful suggestions to authors for strengthening their work. Her knowledge of tobacco control research in African countries is particularly valued by editors.
Amanda Kong: Offers the kind of reviews that are a gift to authors. Specific, concrete suggestions and perceptive questions to help authors with making communication clearer, communicating results with greater precision and adding analytical depth to discussions.
Hana Ross: A reviewer relied on for her expansive expertise in topics related to global tobacco taxation, trade and economics overall. Provides constructive feedback, ensuring that the trees do not obscure the view of the forest, and helping to keep these papers accessible to the majority of Tobacco Control readers.
Michal Stoklosa: Thorough reviews, with a keen eye for detail such as how authors define and apply concepts and terms. His comments consider how researchers have undertaken research in local contexts, and how local approaches align (or not) with broader research frameworks and FCTC guidance.
SPECIAL MENTION AWARDEES:
David Ashley – consistently provides outstanding, rigorous reviews and is among our most prolific reviewers for the last two years. His thorough and critical analysis of author arguments and detailed knowledge of tobacco control policy – and the tobacco industry – are highly valued by editors, particularly when making decisions about potentially contentious papers.
Cynthia Callard – A remarkably diplomatic reviewer whose comments are invariably helpful. Has a track record of offering constructive comments on papers that have potential but need analytical development. Willing to review on less ‘mainstream’ topics and to think about how the conversation can be taken in new directions.
Professor Ruth Malone is Editor-in-Chief of Tobacco Control.