ICES Journal of Marine Science Editorial Early Career Internship

ICES newsletter article on editorial internship. Find the full article here.

ICES Journal of Marine Science launches an Editorial Mentorship Programme to train early career researchers in scientific publishing and journal editing.

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Marine Institute in Ireland where I study mesopelagic fish ecology and abundance within the context of the H2020 MEESO project. I mainly work with vessel-mounted acoustics in the Northwest Atlantic and have a particular interest in advancing our understanding of the acoustic behaviour of mesopelagic fish. In the context of this work, I have come to interact with several ICES working groups. 

As an early career researcher (ECR), I have found the academic landscape in general to be quite intimidating at times, and so have followed the recent establishment of ECR networks and ECR targeted activities with great interest. One aspect which has rarely been addressed within these, however, is the training and inclusion of ECRs in peer-review and editorial processes. The opportunity ICES Journal is providing is very unique as it will directly provide us with insights into these processes which are usually reserved for more senior scientists. Apart from this, I am particularly keen to learn how editors decide which articles are admissible and topical and in that way actively shape the marine landscape. I especially look forward working with Stan Kotwicki who has kindly agreed to mentor me during my internship, as his work is very relevant to my research. Throughout my mentorship, I look forward to sharing what I learn, from both my mentor and the rich and diverse pool of editors at the Journal, with my early career peers in the OYSTER network of which I am former chair and active member as well as with my early career peers in ICES network.

What are you looking forward to with this programme?
Through a systematic review study that I and two peers are currently conducting together with the Working Group on Maritime Systems, I have recently come to explore different publication types such as preprints, research protocol registrations, and protocol publications. I am interested to observe how well-established journals such as IJMS view and position themselves in regard to such developments.

Do you prefer to write or review?
Writing up scientific findings can be a daunting task but I thoroughly enjoy seeing projects come to completion and to compile articles to present them to my peers. I think particularly studies in the field of marine sciences take a lot of time and effort from the planning to the writing stage due to the nature of the field and work itself. For me this means to be polite, consistent and provide an unbiased factual review to the authors. I believe that a similar approach should be taken throughout editorial processes.

​While reviewing papers often can add yet another responsibility to our busy schedules I have found that with every review I conducted I have been able to learn something new and gained insights into new perspectives, especially if the studies were less-closely related to my field of research. Acting as a reviewer has also taught me a lot about the way I write articles. For instance, have I learned how to guide readers of all backgrounds through my articles better to convey my finding.

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