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Erika Scott, PhD, Deputy Director of NYCAMH and the Northeast Center

In December Erika Scott, PhD, Deputy Director of NYCAMH and the Northeast Center, was named Peer Reviewer of the Year for 2023 by The Journal of Agromedicine. This honor recognizes her reviews of over 30 journal articles for several journals over the last three years.

"I have benefitted from many reviews of my work over the years," says Scott. "I know firsthand how thoughtful, constructive reviews benefit both the research and the researcher. Reviewing others' work is my way of 'paying-it-forward.' This award is humbling, but it is gratifying to know my reviews seem to be helping my fellow researchers."

Scott has been at NYCAMH/Northeast Center since 2009 and was named Deputy Director after receiving her PhD in Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences in 2016. In her 13 years at the Northeast Center, Scott's work has focused primarily on tracking occupational injuries, understanding injury and health issues among logging workers, and the untold burden of agricultural injury.

"This award doesn't surprise me in the least," says Julie Sorensen, the Northeast Center's Director. "Erika brings care, intelligence and insight to all her work and her reviews are no different. She is a talented mentor and rigorous researcher and this combination will significantly benefit the next generation of epidemiologists and public health researchers whose papers she reviews."

For those unfamiliar with the process, research journals distribute article submissions to several reviewers who are familiar with the field, the research techniques, or the subject matter. Their reviews can range from accepting the study to requiring revisions to rejecting the article altogether. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the analysis is accurate, the findings are significant, the studies are repeatable, and that everything is clearly communicated.

"I find that a good review requires empathy as well as analysis," says Scott. "These researchers have invested a lot into their work. Again, I know from my own experience: too blunt of an assessment can cloud the issue with emotions. But if it's clear that your reviewer's criticism is thoughtful and constructive, you go back to your research with a fresh, new perspective."

You can learn more about this honor, Erika's work, and The Journal of Agromedicine in the journal's announcement here.