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Academic Careers

A Peer Review Guide, and a Consortium of Research Staff Associations

Two more interesting developments that were announced at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Dublin are the publication of a peer review guide for young researchers and the launch of a global umbrella organization for research staff associations.  

Produced by Sense About Science’s Voice of Young Science (VoYS) network, Peer review: The nuts and bolts explains the peer review process, offers tips to new reviewers, and discusses the advantages and limitations of peer review. On the same day of the ESOF session, VoYS released an open letter to Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council of England, advocating recognition of peer review activities within the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF is a new system in the United Kingdom that is intended to replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in the evaluation of U.K. higher education institutions.
“Recognising reviewing as part of the REF would ensure that it is prioritised and safeguarded by university departments in the longer term so that these activities will continue to be a significant part of the contribution we make to scholarly publishing throughout our lives. More immediately it will ensure that reviewing is approached professionally and seriously, enabling senior researchers to spend time mentoring early career researchers like ourselves in these activities,” the young researchers argued in the open letter.
The second development at ESOF was the announcement on Sunday of the launch of the International Consortium of Research Staff Associations (ICoRSA). ICoRSA “serves to nurture communities of researchers and provides a global voice for research staff and postdoctoral scholars.” So far, the consortium has 16 members, 9 of them young researchers associations from around the world.