Robotics and Automation Society Young Reviewers Program
October 25, 2015
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IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Young Reviewers Program

The Young Reviewers Program (YRP) is intended to introduce the Robotics and Automation Society’s young members to the best practices in peer-reviewing of scientific papers. This is achieved by establishing a mentor–mentee relationship in which Senior Reviewers (SR) give reviewing assignments to the Junior Reviewers (JR) and oversee the review process.

How does it work?
Traditionally, the papers are submitted to the Paper Plaza conference management system and the review request is sent by the associate editor to the reviewers. Once the review request is confirmed, the paper’s quality is evaluated, and the review is submitted.

Now, let us assume that the reviewer is an invited SR for the YRP, which runs separately from Paper Plaza. In that case, the SR may upload the paper assigned to him/her in Paper Plaza to the YRP website, and then our program begins:

  • SR chooses a JR from the pool of applicants by searching keywords,
  • SR assigns the paper to the JR and mentors him/her throughout the process (by providing guidelines, corrections, etc.),
  • SR uploads the final review (revised by the senior member) to the Paper Plaza by the review deadline, as carried out traditionally (indicating the YRP involvement towards the Associate Editor).

yrp

To facilitate such a mentor–mentee relationship, YRP

  • provides the JR with enough (starting) material to enhance his/her reviewing skills (e.g., by providing documents, webinars, etc.),
  • provides the senior member with tools to search for the JR by using the keywords, assign the paper and communicate with the JR,
  • applies safeguards to protect the review’s confidentiality.

Noteworthy, serving as a SR in YRP will not increase the number of papers that the SR is asked to review. Only papers that a SR has already accepted to review would be eligible for the YRP.  In this way, there will be no net increase in SR’s reviewing workload. Therefore, the time a SR would normally spend writing a careful review would be invested instead in developing skills of a Junior Reviewer.

Once the required skills are obtained, JR will be graduated with an overall qualification grade. High-profile JRs will be given the opportunity to participate to the ICRA/IROS RAS-YRP events and will be provided with certificates and awards to recognize the effort.

To become a YRP member as a Junior Reviewer, please register here.

This is a fantastic initiative from RAS and will provide young professionals with the right training in becoming research reviewers and we hope that other technical societies will follow in their footsteps.

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