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Research Mentoring takes many forms: Career Mentoring, Research Design Mentoring, Writing Mentoring, etc.It also varies by type of research. Before mentoring, a mentor can be taught. For, mentoring is a teachable skill.There is also a difference between expert mentoring and peer-peer mentoring.Mentoring that creates clones is not desirable. In professional development for teachers for example, early career teachers can also inspire and rejuvenate late career teachers. There is a virtuous spiral possible. This would necessitate first creating a safe space to break down the power differential. A good reference is a paper by Barbara Comber, et. al, on a project in Australia that used Mentoring as a strategy for Professional Renewal (2007).

There are as yet, few studies on effective mentoring to build research capacity. However, there are small initiatives underway to build research writing capacity around the International AIDS Conference. One of these is the Abstract Mentor Programme, details of which are provided below.

If you would like to mentor early career researchers improve their writing, then this section will give you some ideas on how to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate a simple online mentoring system.

Online Abstract Mentor Programme


Conceptual Framework

Rise of Web 2.0

Learning as Social Practice

Communities of Practice

Rich Learning Environments








Providing Feedback

IT systems requirements


Quantitative indicators


Ways forward for continuous improvement

Can WikiEducator be a platform for mentoring writing ?

What are your thoughts?

This project worked because it was tightly bound in scope and time. To expand into a manuscript mentoring service, organisations would need to assess the costs and benefits, and secure funding, as well as develop a long-term vision, with scaleable iterations. However, given that research is valuable for all humans to learn and grow, and reduce reliance on external consultants, it is worthwhile for reducing poverty and improving lives of everyone. Collaborative authoring can also challenge the existing power structures in which science is conducted and inculcate a culture of learning by, and for, all, not just 'scientists'.