Sheffield Thesis Publishing Prize 2022 - Information for academic mentors
Information for academic mentors for the Sheffield Thesis Publishing Prize 2022
What is an academic mentor?
We understand that early-career researchers have a range of publishing experiences. Some may not have extensive experience of the publishing processes or peer review. In this instance, successful applicants to the prize may wish to involve in the development of the monograph someone with this experience who can advise from an academic perspective, for example, on how to respond to peer review comments.
We recommend that the academic mentor is not the thesis supervisor, but is someone from the same field of study who has agreed to support the applicant through the drafting, peer review and revision stages of the publishing process if successful. It is not necessary for the academic mentor to have read the thesis, although an appropriate option for an academic mentor could be the thesis’s internal examiner.
How much work is involved?
As an academic mentor, you need to commit to helping the author through certain aspects of the publication process. For example, they may need help processing and responding to peer review feedback if this is not something that they have had experience of. They will need to select which elements of the feedback they need to take on board and which they should decline to incorporate. They may also need advice in judging how best to evolve the manuscript based on the feedback they want to use.
There will be two key points when they are likely to need input: at the point of proposal peer review, and at the point the completed manuscript is sent for review. As an academic mentor, you would be expected to read a sample chapter of the applicant’s thesis, and a draft book proposal.
You should have a discussion with the author to gauge whether they feel they would benefit from or require support at other stages, for example, the initial planning and work to change the thesis into a monograph. You need to be open with the author about how much support you can offer. For example, you could agree to have three meetings with them over the course of the peer review, commissioning and publication process.
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