Idea from Beronda Montgomery:

The inclusion of 'junior reviewers' is an opportunity to provide community-based mentoring opportunties for formally training graduate students and postdocs in the peer-review process. There are some models (e.g. APA and others) for using such an approach that perhaps can be adapted to Plant Direct.

Authors can be queried as to whether they agree to have a junior reviewer participate in the process or opt out.

There are several ways in which junior reviewers could be integrated into the process. Junior reviewers review the manuscript in parallel to other reviewers - one journal reviewer may be designated "mentor" and agree to provide feedback to the junior reviewer on content and/or suggestions for editing before the final review is returned to author.  An alternative format, is that the junior reviewers review may/may not be forwarded to authors, but the reviewer receives copies of other reviewers' feedback as a comparison (in this case, one reviewer could still be designated as mentor) to offer feedback on content/style.

Junior reviewers could be identified through an applicant process or having journal reviewers recommended junior reviewers. One other model has been to trained junior peer reviewers at a workshop after which those successfully completing could join a junior editorial board.

These are just some of the ideas out there in use and perhaps adaptable to provide a professional development opportunity through Plant Direct.

What do you think?