On Wednesday 17 January, we celebrate the International Mentoring Day. I am an individual at the earlier stages of his career who recognizes that mentoring has been indispensable as I continue to strive towards my long-term goal of becoming a clinical researcher in child and adolescent mental health. While I am primarily based in Brazil (and undoubtedly recognize that local mentorship is critical), I have also been fortunate to have mentors in other countries, such as the US and the UK, who have shared their knowledge and opened numerous opportunities for me.
As part of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH), the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (JCPP) has recently created the Affiliate Editor (AE) program to support, through mentorship, young professionals in child and adolescent mental health such as myself. Our Editor-In-Chief, Prof. Edmund Sonuga-Barke, conceptualized the AE program as a strategy for early-career researchers to collaborate closely with senior editors to support them in making decisions while receiving mentorship and training regarding the editorial role at the JCPP. All senior editors of the JCPP highly endorsed the initiative, which was successfully launched in the summer of 2023. The journal now features 20 AE who are equally benefitted.
Over the past 6 months, I have enjoyed working with Drs. Michael Bloch and Julian Koenig as an AE handling Research Reviews for the JCPP. Before working at the JCPP, as an author, I had yet to fully comprehend that editors are, in part, responsible for navigating, advancing, and promoting our field. Drs. Bloch, Koenig, and I are in constant communication with each other and thoroughly discuss and reach a consensus on decisions for each paper that we edit to ensure that we publish Research Reviews that align with the JCPP’s mission (as outlined in an editorial from Prof. Sonuga-Barke). Through working as an AE and having close mentorship from Drs. Bloch and Koenig, my perceptions of the editorial and peer-review procedures have shifted positively. I now have a fresh perspective on the importance of these processes, which will hopefully translate to my own research work as an author.
Besides, as an early-career researcher, I have enjoyed working collaboratively with investigators worldwide and easily recognize their importance in my development. The JCPP is widely recognized as the leading international journal covering child and adolescent psychology and psychiatry and features leading experts in several fronts of our field. Because I am part of the JCPP community, I am confident that there will be several networking opportunities with other senior and affiliate editors of the JCPP, hopefully promoting further my development in the field.