Last week, we launched some new functions on the AuthorAID website. Some of these are outlined in my post “What’s new on the AuthorAID website”. However, there is one significant change that we felt warrants a bit more detail.
One of the best-known functions of AuthorAID is the mentoring system—a place where early-career researchers can find experienced mentors to help them through the research process (from initial design to publication). Many of the changes we have made to the site over the past 3 months have focused on making the expectations clearer for both mentors and mentees.
It is important that mentors on our site are experienced researchers with strong research and publication track records. We are also seeking mentors with strong editorial and publishing experience. Regardless of their experience and skillset, 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.
To ensure that researchers can find mentors with the appropriate skills and experience, we are asking that those interested in becoming mentors submit a short application. The application entails providing only 3 brief items:
- one’s highest academic qualification
- a link to one’s academic or professional profile website (for example, on LinkedIn or ResearchGate, your own webpage, or your institutional website)
- a short explanation of why you want to become a mentor
Applicants are then considered based on their application and registration details, publication history (including peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and conference papers) as well as affiliation and experience. The AuthorAID team will aim to respond to all applications within 2 weeks and may contact applicants for additional information.
For the next few months, this process will be put in place for any new mentors. During this time we will collect any feedback we receive to see how the system works and may be improved. Existing mentors will also be required to go through the process. However, this will take place over a period of time, and later we will notify them about the process and how to update their profiles.
Any feedback or questions about the site will help us to ensure than future developments can be planned and developed according to the needs of our network. Please, let us know what you think. You can contact me, Liam Finnis (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the AuthorAID team (email@example.com) with any feedback.