Has AuthorAID mentoring been fruitful for you so far? [poll] ¶
By: Andy Nobes on Oct. 25, 2017, 11:28 a.m.
Please tell us more about your experience so far. Don't be afraid to share criticisms - we are open to suggestions and ideas.
By: Andy Nobes on Oct. 26, 2017, 9:46 a.m.
Hi Dr. Lucas,
Hmm, sorry, that sounds like it might have been a technical problem. When did this happen, and were you able to re-submit what you were writing?
By: Ismael Aaron Kimirei on Oct. 26, 2017, 8:26 p.m.
So far so good. But of course, I will contribute more after hitting several links and going through the site to >comfortability
IA Kimirei (TAFIRI)
AuthorAID Community Facilitator
By: Barbara Kabai Burmen on Oct. 28, 2017, 7:11 a.m.
Dear fellow Mentors,
Thank you for volunteering your skills in aide of other researchers.
This program has been very fruitful for me in various ways.
I have had a number of succesful (and not so successful) mentoring relationships.
I only wish the mentees actually had something in mind or a prepare draft when making requests for mentoring; some make a request and you never get to hear from them afterwards.
I think the mentees could be asked to acknowledge AuthorAid formally in the scientific dissemination products they prepare as well as have some courtesy when making requests.
Is it possible to have the AuthorAid site have seperate 'email-chains' for different tasks? I asked my mentee to make a separate request for an additional task and I was unable to seperate it from the current task.\
All the best in your endeavaours and keep mentoring!
By: Jaclyn Goodrich on Oct. 30, 2017, 4:11 p.m.
I have had a great experience with AuthorAid thus far. I have had two succesful long-term mentoring relationships, and the current one resulted in the mentee winning a fellowship to come to my University and collaborate in person.
Once I establish a mentoring relationship, we tend to communicate through personal/work email instead of through the website, so I am not sure how easy it is to use the AuthorAid communication tools. I find that I get many more requests than I can accomodate. I turn my status to 'unavailable for mentoring' when I am actively mentoring a scientist to avoid this.
I agree with Barbara that it would be useful if mentees were very specific in their requests. If a mentee only needs help editing a paper, for example, and states that right off the bat, I would be more likely to help out as opposed to an open ended mentoring relationship with someone outside of my immediate field.
Best of luck to everyone! Thanks for being members,
By: Amber Murrey on Oct. 31, 2017, 12:53 p.m.
I agree with Jackie's points and my approach to the process resmebles what she has described here. I tend to correspond outside of AuthorAid once a mentoring relationship has been established.
Another point from Jackie's commentary that reflects my experience is that there seems to be some muddling of expectations and aspirations. I wonder if there might be more agreement regarding what mentorship means (accross the board).
Mentorship is not "editorship"... I've had to state very explicitly that I do not edit for grammar or punctuation. All the while, this is what most people who contact me initially want. If someone needs/wants an editor, that is fine, but that is not mentoring...
Mentorship means meaningful connection... most of the potential mentees who have so far contact me seem to know very little about my work and it is left to me to ascertain whether or not I was the appropriate person to contact initially. Is this because standard form letters are being submitted to many simultaneously, perhaps? It would be helpful if those who contact us genuinely wish to collaborate or learn with/from us (rather, as some have suggested, looking frantically for last minute help with tasks before a deadline).
By: Andy Nobes on Oct. 31, 2017, 3:37 p.m.
Good to see you on the forum! Thanks for your feedback, I definitely agree with your thoughts on multiple requests - another one of our mentors mentioned this recently. We also like to encourage mentees to mentioned the mentor (and AuthorAID) when they publish any outputs. We've seen a few papers mention this in 'acknowledgements' but not as many as we expected. Perhaps we need to provide a template of some kind, or standardised text.
With regards to mentee aims and expectations, I think I will start a new thread concerning this.
By: Andy Nobes on Oct. 31, 2017, 3:54 p.m.
Hi Jaclyn and Amber,
Thanks for your feedback - we've also heard similar views from Olufeme and Abiodun in this thread:
I think we have a wide range of different kinds of 'mentors' - some, like Rachel, Thomas and Matt mostly provide editing help, so perhaps aren't 'mentoring' in the most commonly-accepted sense of the word* (although all of them have provided more in-depth help and guidance to some of their mentees). Other mentors understand mentoring in the sense that Amber has described above and didn't sign up for the editing/proofreading side of things. It would also be good to have some guest blog posts from mentors who have succesfully been involved in long-term mentoring. We try to encourage mentees and mentors to provide as much information as possible about what they are seeking/offering, but perhaps we need to get our heads together and develop a list of do's and dont's for mentees?
I will start a new thread on this, sharing the current 'welcome' text for new mentees.
However, I think we will always get people looking frantically for last minute help before deadlines!
*Having spoken to Rachel, Thomas and Matt, I think they would agree with this. We've also had discussions about whether we should have different tiers of mentoring or 'AuthorAID editors'.
By: Chinedu Lilian Mba on Nov. 5, 2017, 12:02 p.m.
Authoraid team has been wonderful. I once had a mentor but after some time, there was a break in communication. Since then, I have been trying to re-establish the communication to no avail. Please help me I need a mentor. Thanks
By: Dr Cyril Bernard Lucas on Nov. 16, 2017, 5:28 p.m.
I think the technical problem I had was on my computer, not yours. I am sorry I haven't replied earlier, but I have been helping several researchers with correcting their papers. Since they have totally different fields of research from each other and me, I do find mentoring is fruitful in the sense of broadening my scientific knowledge. The best possible fruitful result is that some mentees have found that I have written a book, so they include that in their acknowledgements.I didn't tell them to! The resuling international publicity is welcome. When I am asked about an acknowledgement for my editing I suggest that AuthorAID is mentioned so it is better known. Since English has become the language of scientific communication, I feel it is up to those whose native language is English to use some of the time they have saved by not having to writie in a foreign language to help thiose who have to.
By: P Merkus on Feb. 6, 2019, 4:33 p.m.
I have been approached by a number of potential mentees, but none have come to any meaningful mentorship relation. Many requests have a very short deadline, have only a very brief description with hardly any context description, often only request to correct the language, review the article, advise a journal, etc. I always ask for more information because this will be needed for being able to coach appropriately. Often I discover that the applicant works in an academic team and is reluctant to collaborate there or with peers from nearby universities. Sometimes the applicant does a PhD study and has a supervisor, in that case I am reluctant to accept a mentorship.
Very often after exchanging a few Q & A messages the communication falls dead from the other side. My feeling is that potential mentees ask help on the spur of the moment without properly thinking it through.
The other day I had a request from a Nigerian student who seemed reluctant to provide much information. I googled him and it turned out he was registered in a PhD program at a local university. Googling further I discovered that he had already published articles in predatory journals. I pointed this out to him and he fell silent. I also alerted the head of the unit of the program, but received no response.
This case raised my suspicion whether non-reputable universities do award PhDs on the basis of articles from such journals. Does anyone have more information about this practice, is it widespread? Should we now also verify whether PhD programs are predatory or not?
BTW. Does anyone know how to purge the list of past requests from the Dashboard?
Cheers, Rob Merkus, Netherlands