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Gary Poole Distinguished Reviewer Award 2021

The Inaugural Gary Poole Distinguished Reviewer Award

Lauren Scharff (United States Air Force Academy, USA) and Jonathan Mark Gallimore (University of Wisconsin, USA) are the recipients of the inaugural Gary Poole Distinguished Reviewer Award.  Their anonymous reviews were nominated by an author whose manuscript was submitted to (and later published in) Teaching & Learning Inquiry.

The editorial team of Teaching & Learning Inquiry developed this award to honor founding co-editor Gary Poole upon his retirement, as he was instrumental in developing the journal’s thoughtful, rigorous, and developmental peer review ethos. Nominations are evaluated by the nomination letter, the text of the nominated reviews, and the reviewing history of nominated reviewers in relation to the award criteria: review content (substantive feedback that reflects TLI’s mission, scope, and review criteria and provides helpful ideas for moving the submission forward), review style (clear writing, constructive tone), and the responsiveness of reviewer (timely, reliable responses to invitations to review and completion of reviews).

Scharff, known to her nominator only as “Reviewer A,” was nominated for providing “multiple, actionable, concrete suggestions for specific ways the manuscript could be revised to add clarity and address questions readers might have,” and also for an additional suggestion that the author described as “really quite remarkable.” He explained, “The reviewer’s last comment was ‘I appreciated the inclusion of the student reflection. However, it made me wonder why we (as professionals in this realm) wouldn’t also find value in a similar reflection by the non-student investigators?’” The author claims that “This suggestion changed the way I think about partnering with students and writing about partnering with students. Not only did this suggestion fundamentally change the way I thought about and approached writing this section of the manuscript, it is a suggestion that moves the SoTL field forward.”

Gallimore, “Reviewer C” to his nominator, and the nomination for your review states that, in a publishing career exceeding 20 years, “I have never received feedback like I got from this reviewer, that was specific, clear, and actionable,” and “This helped me to not only ‘fix’ the issues with this specific manuscript, but also gave me tools to use in all future research. This focus on mentoring and developmental improvement and growth is exactly what Gary Poole’s Constructive Inclusionism approach is all about. This isn’t about improving manuscripts; it’s about improving the scholars themselves, and it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced with any other journal.”

The nominating author also wrote the following, with regards to both reviewers:

“There is one additional reason that I would like to nominate both reviewers for this award. My co-author on this manuscript worked with me as an undergraduate student co-inquirer on the project. This manuscript—and review process—was her first experience of what the peer-review process at an academic journal is like. As such, it will anchor a definitional place in her life for how this process is ‘supposed to’ be. This process was for me—by a wide margin—the most constructive, helpful, developmental series of reviews I have ever received in a 20+ year career. I have no words for how grateful I am to these reviewers for making this my student’s first experience with the process and showing her the potential for how amazingly supportive and helpful a community of scholars can be, even when providing criticism. This is why I do SoTL.”

Nominations for the next round of Gary Poole Distinguished Reviewer Award are due by May 1, and the award will be announced at the ISSOTL conference in October. More information about the award and the nomination process is available on TLI‘s website.