Austral Ecology Early Career Reviewer Program

The Austral Ecology editorial board has implemented an initiative to provide experience in manuscript reviewing for early career ecologists.

Register Below. 

We know that there are a number of senior PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, or ecologists in the early stages of their employment in other positions, who have the skills and knowledge to qualify them to comment on submitted manuscripts, but who feel that they lack the experience or confidence to embark on a manuscript review.

We see this as a mutualistic arrangement. The journal gains from having an additional pool of reviewers, the Early Career Reviewers gain from building their experience in the journal publishing process, from a different perspective than as submitting authors.

Although this scheme is directed mainly to provide mentoring during early career development for members of the Ecological Society of Australia, it is not restricted to ESA members.

Why would you want to become an Early Career Reviewer for Austral Ecology?

  • You gain experience in an important component of the work of an ecological scientist
  • You will be provided with feedback on your report and comparison with the reviews of a more experienced ecologist
  • Your reviewing activity adds to your CV
  • You gain privileged access, before anyone else, to exciting new research and ideas from around the world
  • You can use the quality and format of presentation in the manuscripts you review to benchmark against papers you are preparing yourself

How will it work and How do I get involved?

  1. You register by filling in your details and areas in which you are willing to review below.
  2. Editors of Austral Ecology will will have the option to select reviewers from the list for appropriate manuscripts. Only one Early Career Reviewer per manuscript will be used.  Note that not all editors will use this system and it may be some time before an individual Early Career Reviewer gets chosen.
  3. Like all invited reviewers, Early Career Reviewers have the option of declining an invitation to review a particular manuscript.
  4. The Scholar One system we use to manage the review process keeps a record of individual reviewers, so we can avoid different editors inviting the same reviewer multiple times in close succession.
  5. If you accept and submit a review, the Editor considers the manuscript, the review from the Early Career Reviewer, and the other review, and makes a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief about the manuscript.
  6. When transmitting that recommendation the Editor informs the Editor-in-Chief that an Early Career Reviewer is involved.
  7. The Editor-in-Chief assesses the reports, comes to a final decision and informs the authors.
  8. A separate letter is sent to all reviewers that informs them of the final decision and allows them to see the other review of the manuscript (usually anonymously).  At the same time the Editor-in-Chief will separately write to the Early Career Reviewer, commenting on the quality and relevance of their review (sometimes using information that the Editor might have provided), explaining any discrepancy between the recommendation of the Early Career Reviewer and the final decision, and inviting any further enquiry about the process.
  9. An Early Career Reviewer can leave the system at any time they like, but also can stay registered as long as they like, with perhaps an age limit of 70.

Registrations are open now!