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The People Behind the Publications: Reflections on a Decade of Reviews

By Earle D. Abrahamson

Teaching and Learning Inquiry (TLI) has become synonymous with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), as a vehicle to inspire discussion, publish meaningful research, and enable contribution to SoTL debates. In their inaugural edition of the journal, founding co-editors Nancy Chick and Gary Poole reminded the international SoTL audience that “ultimately, TLI will be a beacon for such high-quality work that includes and even calls attention to both more traditional models and those not traditionally seated at the SoTL “family table” (Chick and Poole, 2013, 1). Ten years have passed since the inaugural issue, one which set the tone for how we attempt to define, research, and disseminate SoTL. 

In this essay, I reflect on my involvement in supporting the journal and developing my skills as a reviewer. When invited to be part of the inaugural TLI editorial board, I recall the excitement and trepidation, the hope and humility, the opportunities yet obstacles, and the understanding of the importance of the role as reviewer, mentor, and critical friend. These feelings have not changed, but the manner in which I now approach the review process has. I have learned how to value contributions, recognise difference, and enable contributors to develop their thinking and outputs along with the changing landscape of SoTL. For me, the power of the review role rests not with the written but with the reason for contribution. I am curiously interested in the reasons for submitting the manuscript, the personal and collective gains from publication, and the support I could offer to further develop the manuscript. I use this essay to tackle key questions around the future of the review process and the changing landscape of TLI publications and thank TLI for the opportunity and privilege to serve as a reviewer.

Read the TLI article here.


Chick, Nancy, and Gary Poole. 2013. “Launching TLI: SoTL’s Purposes, Processes, and People.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 1 (1):1–4.

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