What is an academic mentor?
We understand that early-career researchers have a range of publishing experiences. Some may not have extensive experience of the publishing processes or peer review. It is important they have someone with this experience who can advise from an academic perspective, for example, on how to respond to peer review comments.
For many, their supervisor will be an obvious choice for this. Others may find a different colleague more appropriate. If that is the case, the details of the mentor need to be included on the application form.
How much work is involved?
As an academic mentor, you need to commit to helping the author through certain aspects of the publication process. For example, they may need help processing and responding to peer review feedback if this is not something that they have had experience of. They will need to select which elements of the feedback they need to take on board and which they should decline to incorporate. They may also need advice in judging how best to evolve the manuscript based on the feedback they want to use.
There will be two key points when they are likely to need input: at the point of proposal peer review, and at the point the completed manuscript is sent for review.
You should have a discussion with the author to gauge whether they feel they would benefit from or require support at other stages, for example, the initial planning and work to change the thesis into a monograph. You need to be open with the author about how much support you can offer.