Tops Among Peers


Peer review is a big part of advancing research, but who do you think does all that reviewing? The American Physical Society has named Assistant Professor of Physics Colin Campbell among 143 Outstanding Referees for 2019 for exceptional work assessing manuscripts published in the Physical Review journals.


Assistant Professor of Physics Colin Campbell has been chosen among the American Physical Society’s (APS) 143 Outstanding Referees for 2019 who have demonstrated exceptional work in the assessment of manuscripts published in the Physical Review journals. The selection was made from 30 years of records on over 71,000 referees who have been called upon to review manuscripts, including more than 40,000 that were submitted in 2018.

The 2019 honorees come from 29 different countries, with large contingents from the U.S., Germany, U.K., Canada, and France.

“It came as no surprise to his colleagues that the APS has recognized Prof. Campbell for excellence in the peer review of scientific manuscripts,” says Karl Kehm, Chair and Associate Professor of Physics. “From his excellent teaching both inside and out of the classroom, to his groundbreaking research on the physics of complex systems, Prof. Campbell exemplifies the kind of faculty dedication that makes Washington College such an enriching environment for students. Rigorous peer review is a cornerstone in the advancement of scientific research, and the APS’s recognition of his work underscores his dedication to scholarship and teaching.”

Instituted in 2008, the Outstanding Referee program annually recognizes approximately 150 of the currently active referees for their invaluable work. Comparable to Fellowship in the APS and other organizations, this is a lifetime award.

“The selection for this achievement is always difficult, and APS expresses its appreciation to all referees who help make the Physical Review collection some of the most cited physics journals in the world,” the organization stated in a press release announcing the awards. “The efforts of these individuals not only keep the standards of the journals at a high level, but in many cases also help authors improve the quality and readability of their articles—even those that are not published by APS.”

The Outstanding Referees selection takes into account the quality, number and timeliness of a referee’s reports, without regard for membership in the APS, country of origin, or field of research. Individuals with current or very recent direct connections to the journals, such as editors and editorial board members, are excluded.

A full list of the Outstanding Referees is available at

About APS: The American Physical Society ( is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities.  APS represents over 55,000 members, including scientists and professionals in physics-related disciplines in academia, national laboratories, government, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.  Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, (Editorial) and Washington, D.C. (Government Affairs).