The benefits to climate science of including early-career scientists as reviewers

Casado, Mathieu; Gremion, Gwenaëlle; Rosenbaum, Paul; Caccavo, Jilda Alicia; Aho, Kelsey; Champollion, Nicolas; Connors, Sarah L.; Dahood, Adrian; Fernandez, Alfonso; Lizotte, Martine; Mintenbeck, Katja; Poloczanska, Elvira; Fugmann, Gerlis

Early-career scientists (ECSs) are a large part of the workforce in science. While they produce new scientific knowledge that they share in publications, they are rarely invited to participate in the peer-review process. Barriers to the participation of ECSs as peer reviewers include, among other things, their lack of visibility to editors, inexperience in the review process and lack of confidence in their scientific knowledge. Participation of ECSs in group reviews, e.g. for regional or global assessment reports, provides an opportunity for ECSs to advance their skill set and to contribute to policy-relevant products. Here, we present the outcomes of a group peer review of the First Order Draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). Overall, PhD students spent more time on the review than those further advanced in their careers and provided a similar proportion of substantive comments. After the review, participants reported feeling more confident in their skills, and 86 % were interested in reviewing individually. By soliciting and including ECSs in the peer-review process, the scientific community would not only reduce the burden carried by more established scientists but also permit their successors to develop important professional skills relevant to advancing climate science and influencing policy.

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Casado, Mathieu / Gremion, Gwenaëlle / Rosenbaum, Paul / et al: The benefits to climate science of including early-career scientists as reviewers. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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