For the last two years I have been reviewing journal articles for the American Society of Civil Engineers' Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, and a few weeks ago I was honored by the Journal as Best Reviewer for the year 2014! The award was made during the society's annual Environmental and Water Research Institute (EWRI) conference.
EWRI is one of the largest conferences in the U.S. focused on water related issues, and it brings together researchers and scientists to share their thoughts about one of the most precious resources we have on earth. EWRI also sponsors many other activities related to water resources, from holding conferences to organizing committees that deal with a wide range of topics such as water pollution, flood, reclamation, and policy.
My specialization is mainly in fluid mechanic processes, experimental model analysis, and combined sewer networks. As well as publishing papers related to irrigation techniques, the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering covers all phases of engineering hydrology and related water management subjects such as watershed management, weather modification, water quality, groundwater, and surface water. It emphasizes new developments and the results of research, as well as case studies and practical applications of engineering.
Those invited to peer review the articles apply their expertise and spend countless hours critiquing them and ensuring that they are timely and worthy of inclusion in the publication.
I actually enjoy being an independent peer reviewer because it helps me stay in touch with current research, innovative techniques, and new discoveries within the scientific community. The process involves several tasks, ranging from understanding the scientific soundness of a work to evaluating whether it presents innovative methodologies and technology.
Anonymous reviewers act as the first filter toward the ultimate approval of research that comes from several years of hard work. They have to proceed as carefully and accurately as possible, to understand the potential of an article, and to engage with the authors in improving their work and sharing new thoughts and ideas from a different angle. The journal that I review for essentially gives its editor and reviewers four options-to accept the article, to request author revisions, to require additional reviews, or-based on at least two reviews-to decline to publish.
Many other engineers and scientists at AIR Worldwide voluntarily participate in the journal review process in various scientific fields. This activity, as well as writing our own articles, helps us maintain our connections with the broader scientific community and reinforces our reputation for developing