July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
New Engineering Educators
Reviewing scholarship in one’s field is generally assumed to help build and strengthen research skills. We have seen this assumption evident anecdotally in conversations with peers and in messages from journals and peer review training programs. Yet there is little to no empirical evidence to support this assumption, or to explain the mechanisms for how one’s research skills might be strengthened. In an effort to fill that gap in knowledge, we examined feedback from participants in a peer reviewer mentoring program organized by the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). We first examine responses to questions on the application form to participate in this program as mentees. In response to the question “Why are you interested in learning more about the review process?,” the majority of mentee applicants (25 out of 34) indicated that they were seeking to strengthen their own research skills and apply what they learn to their own research. Typical responses identified improving the quality of their writing, creativity, and complexity of thinking. Most stated that feedback they received on their own work, particularly constructive feedback, improves the quality of their research and writing. Some applicants cited the desire to become more familiar with terminology and research methods that are new to them as education researchers. We will be examining feedback on exit interviews from participants in this program to gain insight into how the peer review process influenced their own research skills. We anticipate that these will be similar to those shared by participants in the Publons Academy, a peer review training program, such as “This new knowledge of peer review has contributed to improving my own manuscripts as well: I can now think about the different types of article flaws from the perspective of a reviewer and author. Also, being critical of one’s own research leads to self-improvement” (https://publons.com/blog/starting-out-in-peer-review-putting-skills-into-practice/). We are identifying the information, structures, processes and practices that participants felt influenced their own knowledge of engineering education research and their confidence in their own research skills and productivity. This work in progress serves as a pilot study for a larger research study on longitudinal effects on researchers’ productivity and the impact of their work, differences in these factors for those who review journal manuscripts and those who review grant proposals, and what aspects of peer review training (knowledge, resources, collaborations, etc.) participants actually carry forward in their own research.
Benson, L., & Bates, R. A., & Jensen, K., & Lichtenstein, G., & Watts, K., & Ko, E., & Albayati, B. (2021, July), Building Research Skills through Being a Peer Reviewer Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36769
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