Developing Professional Skills: Postdoctoral Scientific Editing and Reviewing Team
Developing Professional Skills: Postdoctoral scientific editing and reviewing team
PDF of slides
Lisa Kozlowski, Megha Verma, Valentina Minieri, and Pamela Walter; Thomas Jefferson University
Postdocs are looking to develop professional skills and boost their CVs as they plan for the future. They spend time writing manuscripts and often edit and review each other’s work. Because of this, two Jefferson postdocs, who were officers in the Jefferson Postdoctoral Association, formed a group called the Postdoctoral Scientific Editing and Reviewing Team (PSERT). Its purpose is to help postdocs improve editing, reviewing, and writing skills as they train together and practice those skills. They collaborated with Jefferson’s Office for Professional Writing, Publishing, and Communication Support to develop editing and reviewing training for postdocs. Three one-hour training modules focused on how to improve writing content, conciseness, and correctness, and had practical examples and exercises. It was mandatory for postdocs who wanted to join PSERT, but was open to all postdocs and graduate students who wanted to improve their writing and editing skills. The workshops will continue to be offered 2-3 times/year to train new editors and improve the skills of all trainees. After the volunteer editors were trained, postdoc and graduate student submissions were solicited. The Editor-in-Chief assigns submissions to two volunteers who review the work in a roundtable setting with guidance from an experienced editor. Authors receive written commentary. Volunteer editors commit to 6 hours per semester to review and edit 1 manuscript. This collaboration shows how the self-motivation of two postdocs to enhance their own professional skills can lead to a program that can help all Jefferson graduate students and postdocs improve themselves.