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Review
Peer-Review Record

Translating Biochemistry Concepts into Cartoons and Graphic Narratives: Potential and Pitfalls

BioChem 2022, 2(1), 104-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2010008
Reviewer 1: Manuel Aureliano
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
BioChem 2022, 2(1), 104-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2010008
Received: 24 November 2021 / Revised: 28 February 2022 / Accepted: 9 March 2022 / Published: 17 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from XXI SPB National Congress of Biochemistry 2021)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The author's review entitled “Translating Biochemistry Concepts into Cartoons and Graphic Narratives: Potential and Pitfalls by Mireia Alemany-Pagès, Rui Tavares, Anabela Marisa Azul  and João Ramalho-Santos  is very interesting, well written and with very pedagogical biochemistry cartoons.

I would recommend the suggestions described below:

  • At the end of the intro, it also not totally clear, at least in part, what is the main message and relevant points of the review that should be emphasize at this stage. What is really timely and new in the review?
  • References should be updated and with a good percentage (25%) of papers from the last 4 years. However, references from last two years (only 4) could be updated.
  • A conclusion section is eventually missing. A conclusion should resume partial and then global conclusions and also with concerns and perspectives for future research.

Additionally, I have some minor comments, mainly typos, misspelled words or missing information, that the authors should take into account:

Page 2: naratives, should be narratives

Page 2: Is this reference missing? : Aleixo, P., Matkin, D., & Kilby, L. (2020). What do teachers think about the educational role of comic books?: A qualitative analysis. Studies in Comics, 11 (2), 387-404. http://doi.org/10.1386/stic_00037_1

Page 5. The size of the letters  inside the figure 3 is too small.

Page 7. Is the text to be deleted?

 

Page 9: Many references are incomplete and DOI reference is also missing.

Alexander, G.C.; Sehgal, N.L.; Moloney, R.M.; Stafford, R.S. National Trends in Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Arch. Int. Med. 2008, 168, 94–102. [CrossRef]

Comments for author File: Comments.docx

Author Response

The author's review entitled “Translating Biochemistry Concepts into Cartoons and Graphic Narratives: Potential and Pitfalls by Mireia Alemany-Pagès, Rui Tavares, Anabela Marisa Azul  and João Ramalho-Santos  is very interesting, well written and with very pedagogical biochemistry cartoons.

I would recommend the suggestions described below:

  • At the end of the intro, it also not totally clear, at least in part, what is the main message and relevant points of the review that should be emphasize at this stage. What is really timely and new in the review?
  • References should be updated and with a good percentage (25%) of papers from the last 4 years. However, references from last two years (only 4) could be updated.
  • A conclusion section is eventually missing. A conclusion should resume partial and then global conclusions and also with concerns and perspectives for future research.

We thank the Reviewer for these excellent thoughts, and have revised the text accordingly, editing/adding the requested sections. However, this review also implies a historical overview, and we carried out a systematic literature review for other purposes in 2021. We believe we have selected important works in this relatively small field. Nevertheless, we added some other recent references.

Additionally, I have some minor comments, mainly typos, misspelled words or missing information, that the authors should take into account:

Page 2: naratives, should be narratives

We have tried to correct the typos

Page 2: Is this reference missing? : Aleixo, P., Matkin, D., & Kilby, L. (2020). What do teachers think about the educational role of comic books?: A qualitative analysis. Studies in Comics, 11 (2), 387-404. http://doi.org/10.1386/stic_00037_1

Page 5. The size of the letters  inside the figure 3 is too small.

We divided the Figure in two parts and increased the size, to address this issue

Page 7. Is the text to be deleted?

We apologize for this oversight. The text was signaled for editing, not deletion. This has been changed.

Page 9: Many references are incomplete and DOI reference is also missing.

Alexander, G.C.; Sehgal, N.L.; Moloney, R.M.; Stafford, R.S. National Trends in Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Arch. Int. Med. 2008, 168, 94–102. [CrossRef]

We apologize for this oversight. This has been corrected.

Reviewer 2 Report

This manuscript reviews the use of cartoons and graphic narratives in communication of science to various non-expert audiences. The authors also provide examples from their own area of research to communicate concepts in biochemistry. I recommend a few minor changes below.

Minor changes recommended:

1) Line 63 change “able reach” to “able to reach”

2) Line 69 change “still” to “but are still”

3) Line 227 change “[83] to “[83].”

4) Line 227 change “Two can be cited because” to “Two of these issues can be cited and further explored because”

Author Response

This manuscript reviews the use of cartoons and graphic narratives in communication of science to various non-expert audiences. The authors also provide examples from their own area of research to communicate concepts in biochemistry. I recommend a few minor changes below.

Minor changes recommended:

1) Line 63 change “able reach” to “able to reach”

2) Line 69 change “still” to “but are still”

3) Line 227 change “[83] to “[83].”

4) Line 227 change “Two can be cited because” to “Two of these issues can be cited and further explored because”

We thank the Reviewer for pointing out these mistakes, which we have addressed in the revised version.

Reviewer 3 Report

Review

Translating Biochemistry Concepts into Cartoons and Graphic Narratives: Potential and Pitfalls

Abstract

I’m not quite sure what the following text means?

“This may be especially important in instances where accurate co-production to communicate biochemical aspects for different types of stakeholders is crucial”

In addition, the abstract needs to be revised as it is not clear to me as a reader what the main thrust of the paper is. It would also be useful to include a short summary of any results.

Effective translation is also mentioned but no evidence of data is provided to gauge this effect?

 

Introduction

The manuscript requires some attention to the grammar and expression that is used. In some instance, commas and connecting words, such as “to” are missing, and the sentences are too long.

Lines 52-53, The following comment is made “We will discuss examples of how biochemical concepts can be effectively translated into graphical narratives, providing tools for both formal and informal education at different levels, as well as for more effective stakeholder engagement”

What evidence do the authors have that their approaches are indeed “effective”?

Line 63, “able reach and engage” should be “able to reach and engage”

Line 71, I don’t think it is correct to state that HIV is a “modern” issue.

Line 162, “or in patients” should be “or do patients”

AS noted in the abstract, some reference to actual results should be made. I appreciate that this is a review, but broad statements of impact do not help the reader to judge the impact of an approach for a given audience. Personally I would be interested to know the impact these comic diagrams have at a University level course? Hence, data on this could/should be included if available.

There does not seem to be a distinct conclusion? The document reads as though it is still continuing in the same frame of the discussion and then abruptly ends. Questions that should be included are: How and where these diagrams should be made, what is the expected cost in doing so etc.

Lastly, I think the writing in some cases is overly wordy and some attempts should be made to shorten the manuscript. This will be useful, especially if additional detail (see above) is included to help the reader judge the impact of these interventions on learning.

Author Response

Translating Biochemistry Concepts into Cartoons and Graphic Narratives: Potential and Pitfalls

Abstract

I’m not quite sure what the following text means?

“This may be especially important in instances where accurate co-production to communicate biochemical aspects for different types of stakeholders is crucial”

In addition, the abstract needs to be revised as it is not clear to me as a reader what the main thrust of the paper is. It would also be useful to include a short summary of any results.

Effective translation is also mentioned but no evidence of data is provided to gauge this effect?

We appreciate the Reviewers excellent points, and have tried to address these issues in the revision, by clarifying the text. Specific results are now discussed in the text as well.

 

Introduction

The manuscript requires some attention to the grammar and expression that is used. In some instance, commas and connecting words, such as “to” are missing, and the sentences are too long.

We have tried to address this issue in the revision by breaking up sentences and spellchecking.

Lines 52-53, The following comment is made “We will discuss examples of how biochemical concepts can be effectively translated into graphical narratives, providing tools for both formal and informal education at different levels, as well as for more effective stakeholder engagement”

What evidence do the authors have that their approaches are indeed “effective”?

Line 63, “able reach and engage” should be “able to reach and engage”

Line 71, I don’t think it is correct to state that HIV is a “modern” issue.

Line 162, “or in patients” should be “or do patients”

AS noted in the abstract, some reference to actual results should be made. I appreciate that this is a review, but broad statements of impact do not help the reader to judge the impact of an approach for a given audience. Personally I would be interested to know the impact these comic diagrams have at a University level course? Hence, data on this could/should be included if available.

There does not seem to be a distinct conclusion? The document reads as though it is still continuing in the same frame of the discussion and then abruptly ends. Questions that should be included are: How and where these diagrams should be made, what is the expected cost in doing so etc.

Lastly, I think the writing in some cases is overly wordy and some attempts should be made to shorten the manuscript. This will be useful, especially if additional detail (see above) is included to help the reader judge the impact of these interventions on learning.

We have addressed all minor issues noted by the Reviewer above.

We also have added sections and text to respond to other issues, in response also to additional Reviewers. Although we also cut text, this, however, means that the manuscript is not that greatly reduced.

Finally, the main issue noted by the Reviewer is the lack proof of efficiency regrading this type of strategy. We have therefore been more specific in citing the references/instances where this has been shown.

Round 2

Reviewer 3 Report

Abstract

English expression still needs revision

Introduction

Line 130, the sentence does not seem to have a conclusion? It is also rather long.

Line 161, sentence does not make sense?

Line 200, Tweaking is too casual a term, change to “refine”

Section 5 is a good addition, but some “detail” could be given as to the changes etc rather than forcing the reader to source the referenced paper to determine the impact of the intervention.

The document still seems “wordy” and the expression could be tightened to reduce the word count.

Author Response

We thank the Reviewer for the comments, which we addressed in this revised version.

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