Award and recognitions for 2022 presented to the best reviewers
The awarding ceremony was held at CEON/CEES's premises in Belgrade on Friday, September 23, as part of "Peer Review Week", an event traditionally celebrated around the world.
The recognitions are awarded once a year, based on the criteria specified in the CEON/CEES's Rulebook. There is no formal competition for the awards. The candidates are all those who review the manuscripts applying for publication in SCIndeks Assistant journals, more than 100 of them, that are edited online through the SCIndeks Assistant platform.
The idea of establishing the reviewers’ evaluation and reward program is the result of our proven conviction that, in local journals, reviewers make a crucial contribution to the quality of papers. Since the CEON/CEES mission is to improve the quality of the journals, the introduction of that program was a logical development move.
The program is, at the same time, a sort of protest. The contribution of reviewers in Serbia is not recognized in any way. We believe that the main culprit for that is the Ministry responsible for science. In the past, we used to provide not only IT but also nomothetic support for that Ministry by preparing for them some regulation acts from our domain of expertise. One such regulation, the Act on the Editing of Scientific Journals, provided that the Ministry as a co-financier has access to certain information in the system for all journals that are edited online (which should have been all journals). This would allow them to evaluate all participants in the publishing process, including reviewers.
However, in 2012, even before the Act came into full effect, the decision makers in the Ministry were dismissed following the general parliamentary elections. The Act has practically disappeared, and journals are still supported (co-financed) based on the bureaucratic and archaic criteria, introduced in the past, in pre-digital era. CEON/CEES no longer works with the Ministry, but instead with journal publishers, who now support our journals promotion and evaluation activities. The large and ever-increasing number of their membership fees finally ensured us, at a certain point, some room in the budget to start a reviewers’ evaluation and awarding program. We called it Reviewing Reviewers.
The special feature of Reviewing Reviewers is that, in selecting the best reviewers, we give a decisive role to the authors of the manuscripts themselves. They evaluate the reviews, and thus the reviewers, in terms of the usability of their suggestions offered to the authors in the reviewer forms or in the margins of the manuscripts. We strive to recognize and reward this specific type of reviewer and thus encourage all future reviewers to make an extra effort to offer authors concrete and usable advice on how to improve the quality of their papers. In our opinion, the role of reviewers in so-called small journals, which most SCIndeks journals certainly are, is not only to be journal watchdogs but also the genuine contributors to the papers’ quality. We feel that our award-winning reviewers have largely aspired to that ideal. They are recognized literally as the freewill anonymous donors to anonymous recipients, and that is what makes them special and deserving.
This year's award winners were chosen from among 4,843 different reviewers from the country and abroad, with their 11,090 reviews. Hence, they have been selected from the extraordinary high number of candidates, with an extraordinary care, so they have every reason to be considered extraordinary.
Along with the "Reviewer of the Year" certificate, the winner was also presented with a voucher in the amount of 1,500 euros payable for visiting a scientific conference or for reimbursement of expenses (APC) for publishing a paper in a journal that charges for it. The award "Outstanding reviewer" was awarded to one reviewer in four broad scientific areas: medicine, engineering and technology, agricultural sciences, and social sciences. This year, awards were not granted in the fields of natural sciences and humanities, as no candidate met our criteria.
CEON would like to thank all the winners for their commendable contribution to the quality of papers published in SCIndeks Assistant journals in the previous year and is pleased to announce that the recipients of the awards for 2022 are the following reviewers:
Reviewer of the year
Dr. sc. Bela Balint, Professor emeritus, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Department of Medical Sciences, Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases Dedinje, Belgrade, Serbia
Outstanding reviewer in the field of medical sciences
Dr. sc. Jelena Kotur-Stevuljević, full professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Department for Medical Biochemistry, Belgrade, Serbia
Outstanding reviewer in the field of agricultural sciences
Dr. sc. Olivera Đuragić, scientific advisor, Scientific Institute for Food Technologies, Novi Sad, Serbia
Outstanding reviewer in the field of social sciences
Dr. sc. Darko Simović, full professor, University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia
Outstanding reviewer in the field of engineering and technology
Dr. sc. Zoran Miljković, full professor, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Belgrade, Serbia