Daugherty Passion Projects: Mentoring Through Peer Review

Haresh Bhatia is a principal consultant at Daugherty Business Solutions who helps lead clients through strategic efforts with data analytics, engineering and governance. He also peer reviews research articles.

For the last six-plus years, he has served on the review panels of multiple journals and conference proceedings, including Applied Clinical Informatics, American Academy of Pediatrics, PLOS One and the American Medical Informatics Association. He has also had peer-reviewed papers published in various scientific journals, some of which are oft-cited.

Haresh learned of the peer review process while pursuing his PhD in Biomedical Informatics, when his advisor asked him to serve as an assistant editor for articles published at the bi-annual proceedings of International Medical Informatics Association.

The purpose of the peer review process is to curate the research articles — by assessing, analyzing and enriching the content. This propagates appropriate knowledge in both the scientific and the broader community. In the peer review process, the reviewer is considered a peer to the authors – not a superior.

While reviewing an article, Haresh not only assesses the authenticity of the content, he also considers how the information can be communicated in a precise but concise manner. He makes alternative suggestions to enhance the clarity, while providing analysis of the point the author is attempting to make.

As both a publisher and a reviewer, Haresh has an important job. In the past few years, data analysis has proliferated, and so have the submissions to these journals. More reviewers are needed to carry on the review process. But this is all a voluntary work; the authors may benefit from self-satisfaction and recognition, but not monetarily.

The peer review process can be daunting – definitely for the authors. Some of Haresh’s publications have undergone several iterations of review process with significant additional research required.

For an author, the culminating moment is not necessarily publication; it happens when the published work is cited by others. The more citations, the greater the recognition and value, because it means that the work is being acknowledged by and is useful to the wider community. It may also become ongoing conversation among researchers and in the industry.

And if it’s true that data tells the truth about the world, even the truths we can’t perceive, then Haresh has quite a story to tell.