Early-career reviewers: Next steps in the Genomics and Evolutionary Biology trial

eLife editors trial a new approach to including more early-stage researchers in peer review for papers in the fields of Genomics and Evolutionary Biology.
Inside eLife
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Five members of the eLife Board of Reviewing Editors for Genomics and Evolutionary Biology have pledged to involve an early-career reviewer on each manuscript they handle for a year.

In 2016 eLife introduced an early-career reviewer pool to provide increased opportunities for researchers in the earlier stages of their careers to get involved with peer review. After the first 18 months of this programme, and following feedback from our editorial board and Early-Career Advisory Group, this spring we invited more researchers to join eLife’s early-career reviewer pool.

This invitation received an overwhelmingly positive response, with approximately 450 self-nominations submitted for new early-career reviewers at eLife.

Now, a group of editors in Genomics and Evolutionary Biology have launched a trial in which they endeavour to include an early-career researcher in the review of every paper they handle for the next twelve months.

Members of the Board of Reviewing Editors participating in the trial are:

  • George Perry, Pennsylvania State University (USA)
  • Chris Ponting, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Molly Przeworski, Columbia University (USA)
  • Antonis Rokas, Vanderbilt University (USA)
  • Wenying Shou, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (USA)
Board of Reviewing Editors participating in the trial
From left to right; George Perry, Pennsylvania State University (USA), Chris Ponting, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Molly Przeworski, Columbia University (USA), Wenying Shou, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (USA), Antonis Rokas, Vanderbilt University (USA).

George Perry says:

“I was honored and found it quite inspiring to review the nominations for early-career reviewers, as they are collectively doing such amazing work!”

Reviewing Editors who are participating in this initiative will be inviting an early-career reviewer for each manuscript they handle over the coming year, giving early-stage colleagues the opportunity to participate in eLife’s consultative review process. Although we will invite members who have recently joined our pool of early-career reviewers, it will not be possible for everyone to be invited.

At the conclusion of the trial we will present information on our experiences, drawing on reflections from participating editors and reviewers. We hope the trial will inform how we can improve our peer-review process more broadly.

We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

Interested in finding out more about opportunities, events and issues that are important for early-career researchers? Sign up to the eLife Early-Career Community newsletter or follow @eLifeCommunity on Twitter.