Interviews with Outstanding Authors (2024)

Posted On 2024-03-17 10:26:29

In 2024, many authors make outstanding contributions to our journal. Their articles published with us have received very well feedback in the field and stimulate a lot of discussions and new insights among the peers.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding authors who have been making immense efforts in their research fields, with a brief interview of their unique perspectives and insightful views as authors.

Outstanding Authors (2024)

Dhiren Patel, Saint Louis University, USA

Ramona Rajapakse, Zucker School of Medicine, USA


Outstanding Author

Dhiren Patel

Dr. Dhiren Patel, MBBS, MD, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He also serves as the medical director of GI motility in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital at Saint Louis University. He has expertise in taking care of patients with dysmotility of GI tract for various reasons. He has started a gastrointestinal motility program from inception and is now serving a large population of children with the GI motility disorders in the Midwest. Dr. Patel is one of the few gastroenterologists interested in CF-related GI manifestations and has received many grant awards from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to continue research in the area of gut motility. He serves on the Neurogastro and Motility Committee of the NASPGHAN (North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) and the planning committee of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference. Dr. Patel’s bibliography can be found here. Connect with him on X @DPatelMotility.

In Dr. Patel’s view, academic writing plays several crucial roles in science – communication of research findings, peer-review process, documentation, and reproducibility of results, building a platform of existing knowledge base, establishing authority and research excellence, education, and training for future learners. Overall, academic writing is integral to the scientific process as it facilitates the exchange of ideas, ensures the quality and validity of research, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in various fields of science.

Dr. Patel points out that by implementing several strategies, one can minimize biases in his/her academic writing and produce research papers that are objective, credible, and intellectually rigorous. These include awareness of personal bias and acknowledgment/reflection in own writing; use of impartial language and description of evidence-based factual points; critical evaluation of source material and citations; transparency in methodology; peer review and incorporation of feedback; and consultation with experts in the field as well as samples from the broad audience/readership.

At last, Dr. Patel would like to say a few words to encourage other academic writers, “Through your research, writing, and commitment to excellence, you are pushing the boundaries of human understanding and contributing to the collective advancement of society. Your work not only expands the frontiers of science but also has the potential to address pressing challenges and improve the lives of people around the world. Keep writing, keep exploring, and keep pushing the boundaries of what we know in the field of your interest and expertise. Your work is invaluable, and your impact is immeasurable!”

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)


Ramona Rajapakse

Ramona Rajapakse, MD, FRCP(UK), FACG, is a board-certified gastroenterologist and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) specialist. She obtained her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, and did her residency and fellowship at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, England, and Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC. She was director of the IBD Center at Stony Brook University Hospital, New York, before joining Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson, New York. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra, Northwell, and Program Director of the Gastroenterology fellowship training program at Mather Hospital. Her research is focused on all aspects of clinical IBD. In addition to research, invited lectures, and teaching, she has edited a book on IBD for Physicians (Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Management. Springer Nature, 2021) and written a book for patients (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis: A complete guide for patients. Springer, 2024). Connect with Dr. Rajapakse on X @RORajapakse.

In Dr. Rajapakse’s view, every academic paper should attempt to enhance our understanding of the subject. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the existing literature is paramount in order to understand gaps and grey areas in knowledge. This allows a more astute question to be posed. As such, there should be clearly defined sections: Introduction, Aim, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion. The question to be answered by the paper should be very clearly defined. The study should be well-designed with clear inclusion and exclusion criteria. It should be well executed with a descriptive Methods section. The type of study should be stated (e.g., retrospective, prospective, etc.). The number of subjects included should be appropriate for a convincing statistical analysis. Results should be presented in a format that is unambiguous and easy to understand using tables, charts, graphs, and figures where applicable. There should also be a comprehensive discussion that refers to existing knowledge on the subject and provides explanations for the limitations of the study. A convincing case should be made for the validity of the findings, positive or negative. The conclusion should summarize the findings and define the usefulness of the findings and what work still needs to be done. Lastly, for a review paper, the authors need to do a thorough literature review and have a deep understanding of the material. The review should be presented in a clear and concise manner.

Dr. Rajapakse further points out that, during preparation of a paper, authors should consider what question they want to answer, the audience, the best forum for presentation (oral presentation, poster, which journal), and the most expedient way to perform and get the work published.

I choose to publish in TGH for the following reasons. It is open access and therefore has a wide audience; it is peer-reviewed - internal plus external experts with double blinding and transparency; it is a member of COPE; it has clearly stated guidelines for authors; and it is indexed in PubMed/PMC, which allows maximum exposure of the work,” says Dr. Rajapakse.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)