JPP Mentoring Program for Junior Reviewers

In our field, it is important to train the next generation of scientists in peer review. A formal approach to such training, in the context of the review process for JPP, is needed for several reasons: 1) Training and experience in conducting reviews is not always provided in graduate or postgraduate education, 2) it is difficult to provide training in the review process and to provide comprehensive mentoring and feedback to junior reviewers, and 3) although some reviewers involve students and fellows in reviews, this process is often not formalized.

Process of Mentored Reviews

The Mentor’s/Supervisor’s Responsibility in the Review Process

Reviewers who are sent manuscripts are encouraged to involve junior reviewers in the review process. If they do so, they should follow the procedure:

  • Contact the junior reviewer to invite them to contribute when a manuscript invitation is received.

  • Register the junior reviewer as a co-reviewer by checking box on online review form. (to give formal credit to the junior reviewer in JPP’s listing of ad hoc reviewers).

By agreeing to be a supervisor of a junior reviewer, you are agreeing to:

  • Ensure confidentiality of the review.

  • Provide supervision to the student concerning the quality and constructiveness of the review.

  • Submit the review on time.

  • Assume responsibility for the conduct of the review: The manuscript review remains under the direction of the reviewer to whom it was assigned.

  • Depending on the experience of the junior reviewer, supervisors have the discretion to do a co-review or to have the junior reviewer conduct the review with their consultation and editing. Another strategy is for the mentor and junior reviewer to each complete a separate review which can then be integrated. Regardless, supervision is required. We recommend that one integrated review be submitted by the supervising and junior reviewer.

The Junior Reviewer’s/Supervisee’s Responsibility in the Review Process

By agreeing to participate as a reviewer, the junior reviewer agrees to:

  • Follow the ethical guidelines for reviews, including confidentiality of the manuscript (e.g., dispose of the manuscript and all review notes when the review is complete).

  • Complete the review expeditiously to allow time for supervision and revision and still meet the review deadline.

Note for Students Without Direct Access to an On-site Mentor

Students who do not have an on-site mentor who reviews for the journal can request participation in the JPP Mentoring Program by contacting Susan Wood, (the editorial assistant for JPP). Ms. Wood will then solicit a volunteer from JPP’s Editorial Board and/or list of ad hoc reviewers to work with the interested junior reviewer. She will then pair the supervising reviewer and the junior reviewer; this reviewer team will do several reviews together. We suggest that junior reviewers participate in at least three mentored reviews with their volunteer mentor/supervisor. If there are any problems, such as a lack of review invitations, then it is the junior reviewers’ responsibility to contact Ms. Wood to ask for assistance.

Issues of Credit and Acknowledgement

Junior reviewers as well as the supervising reviewer will be acknowledged by JPP in a future issue of the journal. We encourage junior and supervising reviewers to list “participation in the JPP mentoring program” on their CVs.

Suggestions for Conducting Mentored Reviews

Suggestions to Mentors
  • Give your mentee an overview of the mentored process for JPP, the JPP authors’ checklist, and a list of relevant readings concerning reviews (see Articles on the Review Process).

  • Provide an orientation to the review process and principles of reviewing (content and ethical issues).

  • Show some of your past reviews as samples to your mentee to give them an idea of what the scope of work is.

Sample Instructions to Give to Junior Reviewers
  • Thank you for agreeing to help me review a manuscript. This is an important aspect of advancing science and our field and should be a valuable learning opportunity for you.

  • We will touch base to review the principles of reviews. I will give you some sample reviews that I have done that you can use as a template for your review and a list of relevant articles (see Articles on the Review Process).

  • Please review the manuscript independently and I will do the same.

  • Send your review to me via email attachment by the due date that I will provide to you.

  • I will complete my review without reading your review to avoid being biased. Then we will meet (via phone or email) and incorporate our reviews into a single review. Once we are satisfied with the product, we will submit it at the online portal.

  • I will send you a copy of the final review and the editor’s decision letter (as well as the other reviews), which you can compare to your review. In addition, I will provide you with feedback regarding your review.

  • I will acknowledge your contribution on the JPP review form.

  • Your contribution to JPP (as an ad hoc reviewer) will be formally acknowledged in the journal.

  • Please list this activity in your CV in the following manner: Ad hoc reviewer with (mentor’s name) for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, (dates).

  • Remember that the entire review process is confidential. Do not share any information about the manuscript with others or use any of the information from the manuscript in your own work. Please shred the manuscript and all review notes after we have completed the review process.

Articles on the Review Process

  • Drotar, D. (2000). Reviewing and editing manuscripts for scientific journals. In D. Drotar (Ed.), Handbook of research methods in clinical child and pediatric psychology (pp. 409-425). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

  • Drotar, D. (2011). Editorial: How to write more effective, user-friendly reviews for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36, 1-3.

  • Hyman, R. (1995). How to critique a published article. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 178-182.

  • Sternberg, R.J. (2006). Reviewing scientific works in psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.