Researcher Development Series 2021

We are pleased to announce for 2021 the BAAL Researcher Development Grant is awarded to Dr. Sin-Wang Chong at Queen’s University, Belfast and Dr. Shannon Mason at Nagasaki University.

This online workshop series will focus on feedback of peer review for Applied Linguistics journals.

There will be a total of five workshops, which aim to offer support to BAAL postgraduate (master’s and doctoral) and early career researchers in Applied Linguistics and Language Education to navigate the journal peer-review process. The workshops are open to all BAAL members to register.

The first workshop will take place on 5th February 2021 from 1.30pm – 3.30pm GMT.

The speaker for this session is Dr. Luke Plonsky, from Michigan State University.

More information about the event, including a QR code for registration, can be found here.

About the event: An overview

The peer-review process is central to scholarly publishing and has been the longstanding method by which research knowledge is developed and enhanced. Because of its position as the central process through which research is vetted and refined, peer review should play a similarly central role in researcher training, although it rarely features. In particular, training and support provided to the most at-risk group in the peer-review process, that is, doctoral students and early-career researchers (ECRs), is minimal. Regardless of academic disciplines, doctoral students and ECRs are expected to publish high-quality research in high-impact journals to secure a tenured position in academia; at the same time, some of them are invited to serve as peer reviewers for journals. Both of these experiences require doctoral students and ECRs to be feedback literate – having the capacity and skills to respond to and give feedback.

In universities, training opportunities available for doctoral students and ECRs mainly focus on writing for publication. For instance, workshops and writing retreats are offered. Usually, these programmes focus on academic writing and research skills; but not on practical tips and strategies for addressing peer reviewers’ feedback, let alone giving feedback as peer reviewers. Online peer-review trainings are also offered by some international publishers (e.g., Wiley, Taylor & Francis, Elsevier). Nevertheless, a close look at these online training modules reveals that they tend to be generic, catering for all academic disciplines, and focus on the logistics of the review process but not on developing young researchers’ feedback literacy in the process. Because of the lack of peer-review feedback training available, it will be extremely beneficial to doctoral students and ECRs in applied linguistics to engage in dialogues with different stakeholders in this rather mystified process, including journal editors, peer reviewers, and authors. This serves as the impetus for organising a workshop series on feedback in the peer-review process of applied linguistics journals. Through workshops led by journal editors, peer reviewers, and authors, participants can expect to become more proficient in peer-review feedback by learning from first-hand experiences, feedback examples, and practical tips.

Addressing a topic at the core of academics’ lives and with speakers from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and USA, the workshop series will appeal to attendees in different disciplines and institutions.