Becoming a mentor
Make a difference — become an AuthorAID mentor
Many early-career researchers struggle as they make their way through the submission and peer review process the first time. The process can be especially difficult if no guidance is available nearby, or if the submission isn't in the researcher's native language. This is where an AuthorAID mentor can really help make a difference.
What sort of mentors are AuthorAID looking for?
We're looking for experienced researchers with a strong track record of publications. We're also seeking editors who have helped researchers write journal articles and proposals. Potential mentors should be diplomatic, enthusiastic, and committed. They should be able to guide and encourage early-career researchers, and they should be ready to focus on furthering the mentee's career, not their own.
What skills do mentors need?
We need mentors who can provide help with some or all of the following:
- Using appropriate research methods and performing data analysis
- Choosing appropriate journals for submitting manuscripts
- Preparing manuscripts
- Refining writing style
- Understanding the peer review process and responding to reviewers' comments
- Preparing presentations and posters
- Preparing grant proposals
- Otherwise communicating about research
Applying to be a mentor
AuthorAID mentors should ideally have the following:
Have published at least 2 articles in reputable peer reviewed journals (or book chapters)
A proven track record at winning research grants, international collaborations, or working with policymakers
At least 3 years of editing experience (for example editing for a journal) or as a qualified proofreader/language editor
The application process
- An initial assessment shall be made on the quality of your CV or online profile. As an AuthorAID mentor, we expect you to have a well-presented CV and/or online profile (such as Google Scholar* or ORCID**) which clearly lists and links to your publications or other research experience relevant to this role.
- During the registration process you will be asked 'Why do you want to be an AuthorAID mentor?'. You will be expected to briefly explain your motivation, what kind of help you can provide, and why you think you are qualified to be a mentor.
- Please note that if you are applying to mentor early career researchers on how to publish their work and navigate the peer review process, then we expect you to have a good track record in publishing with high-quality peer-reviewed journals. You should have the skills to guide early career researchers on how to find the appropriate journal and how to avoid journals and publishers involved in poor or misleading publishing practices. Please see www.thinkchecksubmit.org for more information.
- Whilst many of our mentors are experienced senior researchers, we increasingly accept applications from younger doctoral students/post docs with writing, editing and publishing skills and passion to help researchers in developing countries.
We will email you back as soon as possible to confirm whether you have been accepted as a mentor.
What does mentoring involve?
Mentoring involves communicating regularly with your mentee—for example, responding to queries or requests within agreed timeframes. It entails patience and mutual respect for each other's time and ideas. More details appear in our Quick Guidelines for Mentors (PDF, 23K)
How does the mentoring process work?
The first step is to register online with AuthorAID. During registration, you can create a short profile about your research interests and publications or about your editorial experience.
Then you can either (1) search for potential mentees who are already AuthorAID members or (2) wait to be contacted by potential mentees who feel that your background could meet their needs. This is all done via AuthorAID's messaging system, which sends emails directly to AuthorAID members' own email accounts.
Once you are in contact with a potential mentee, you can swap CVs or resumes and start discussions (for example, via the AuthorAID messaging system or more informally via instant messaging, e-mail, telephone calls, or Skype calls). If both members agree to start a mentoring relationship, you can decide whether to set up a formal learning agreement.
Want more information?
** For a tutorial on how to create an ORCID profile, see the ORCID website