Mentors, Consider Involving Your Students in Peer Review

The American Ornithological Society is committed to providing professional development opportunities for our members. With that in mind, if you’re a faculty member and are invited to review a paper for The Auk or The Condor, we encourage you to consider involving graduate students you mentor in the peer review process.

If you have an advanced graduate student who has completed or is close to completing at least the first paper of his or her dissertation, have them join you in preparing a review as follows.

  • Read the paper under review with your student, discuss it, and talk about how to write a valuable review, emphasizing the importance of confidentiality throughout the review process.
  • Have your student write a draft review, then go over the strengths and weaknesses of the draft together.
  • From there, your student could write a second draft for further discussion if necessary, or you could complete and submit the review yourself.

We emphasize that the manuscript should be carefully reviewed by the mentor and that the submitted review should reflect the evaluation of both mentor and student. If a mentor and student follow this process, we request that the name, degree being pursued, and year in program of the student be provided in the confidential comments to the editor when the review is submitted. Mentors do not need to check with editors before involving students.

If you’re a graduate student interested in participating in this process to learn the art of peer review, let your mentor know! For more information, contact

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