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Mukherjee recognized for exceptional refereeing in peer review

Debangshu Mukherjee of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been named an npj Computational Materials “Reviewer of the Year.”

According to its website the journal “publishes high-quality research papers that apply computational approaches for the design of new materials, and for enhancing our understanding of existing ones. New computational techniques – and the refinement of current approaches – that facilitate these aims are also welcome, as are experimental papers that complement computational findings.”

This is the first year the journal, a partner publication of the Nature scientific journal family, has selected a small number of referees to feature as “Reviewer of the Year.” Awardees are recognized for, among other things, their contributions to peer review, professionalism and analysis that significantly improves submitted papers.

Mukherjee, who was one of 10 referees recognized, reviewed more than ten papers for the journal last year while also serving as research scientist in ORNL’s Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, where he largely focuses on microscope automation, specifically AI-based methods for the rapid analysis of microscopy data to facilitate steering and feedback and, by extension, accelerate scientific breakthroughs. He is also involved in the development of open-source computational packages for microscopy analysis.

"I firmly believe that peer review is a crucial aspect of contemporary science, serving as a vetting mechanism,” he said, adding that “as a reviewer... I strive to comprehend the message the authors intend to convey and assess if their data substantiates that message. My role as a reviewer is not to act as a critic, but rather to assist the authors in enhancing their paper by addressing any overlooked areas within the manuscript.”

Mukherjee earned his doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University in 2018, where he specialized in electron microscopy studies of ferroelectric oxides; he joined ORNL as a postdoc in 2018 at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences before moving to CSE as a research scientist in 2021. 

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