Research Board Review Process

Overview of Review Activities

The National Mentoring Resource Center Research Board and Post-Doctoral Research Associates who support its work review research regarding the effectiveness of both specific mentoring programs as well as different practices and resources for use in programs.

  • Mentoring programs may be focused entirely on mentoring or may include mentoring as one of several program components.
  • Mentoring practices are strategies or approaches that can be used in implementing one or more components of a mentoring program. Examples include youth-initiated mentoring and pre-match training of mentors. Such practices can often be implemented in a wide variety of program models and settings.

  • Resources are materials developed by the mentoring field to support the implementation of programs and specific types of practices. These include guidebooks, curricula, handbooks, tools, and other materials that have been developed to support the implementation of quality mentoring services for youth.

Reviews of Mentoring Programs

Reviews of mentoring programs are carried out in accordance with the established procedures of CrimeSolutions.govThe National Mentoring Resource Center Research Board periodically searches the mentoring research literature to identify programs to be reviewed. To be reviewed, both the program and its evidence base must pass an initial screening based on CrimeSolutions.gov’s eligibility requirements. Eligible programs are then placed in a queue to be reviewed. Prioritization for review is based on a number of programmatic and methodological considerations. These include the extent to which a program’s aims and practices are aligned with areas of greatest identified need for the mentoring field. You can also nominate additional programs for review here.

CrimeSolutions.gov focuses on what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services, emphasizing program outcomes in domains such as delinquency, anti-social behaviors, and substance abuse. Mentoring programs are reviewed by Research Board members and Post-Doctoral Research Associates of the National Mentoring Resource Center who have been trained and certified in CrimeSolutions.gov review procedures. The review process for each program is overseen by Dr. David DuBois, Chair of the Research Board, except in those instances where a conflict of interest exists.

The evidence base for each program is classified using the following key:

Check +

Effective - Program has strong evidence that it achieves justice-related goals when implemented with fidelity.

Check

Promising - Program has some evidence that it achieves justice-related goals when implemented with fidelity.

Null

No effects – Program has strong evidence that it did not achieve justice-related goals (or had harmful effects).


A single study icon is used to identify programs that have been evaluated with only one study. A multiple studies icon is used to represent a greater extent of evidence supporting the evidence rating. The icon depicts programs that have more than one study demonstrating effects in a consistent direction.

The listing of each program on the National Mentoring Resource Center website includes this overall classification along with a link to the accompanying profile of the program and its evidence base on CrimeSolutions.gov. Also included are Insights for Practitioners. These commentaries highlight key takeaways, program design considerations, and implementation tips. For more information about the program review methodology, please visit CrimeSolutions.gov.

Reviews of Mentoring Practices

The National Mentoring Resource Center Research Board identifies practices to review based on periodic searches of the mentoring research literature as well as various forms of outreach to the mentoring field. To be reviewed, a practice must have been evaluated for effectiveness in one or more studies that meet established criteria for rigor. Eligible practices are then prioritized for review based on several considerations, including the extent to which the practice aligns with areas of greatest identified need for the mentoring field. You can nominate additional practices for review here.

The Research Board reviews the evidence base for each practice using a standardized protocol and scoring instrument. Based on this review, the evidence base for the practice’s effectiveness is classified according to the same categories as those described above for programs.

The listing for each practice provides information about the practice’s structure and implementation, the program settings where it has been used, the research that bears on its effectiveness, and information on how to access relevant resources and supporting materials.

More detailed information about the procedures used by the Research Board to identify and review practices, as well as the instrument that is used in the review process, can be found here: 

Reviews of Mentoring Resources

The National Mentoring Resource Center relies primarily on nominations from the mentoring field to identify resources to review. You can nominate resources for review here.

  • Tier 1 review is used when a resource has been evaluated for effectiveness in research that meets established criteria for rigor. This research is reviewed using a standard protocol and scoring instrument to arrive at a classification of the evidence base for the resource in a manner similar to programs and practices (see above). Only those resources classified as Promising or Effective are listed on the National Mentoring Resource Center website.

  • Tier 2 review is used for any resource that has not yet been rigorously evaluated for effectiveness. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the resource does not conflict significantly with other relevant research. Only those resources that pass this screening are listed on the National Mentoring Resource Center website.

The listing for each resource includes a brief description, a summary of applicable research (Tier 1 reviewed resources only), and information for accessing and using the resource. Most resources are directly available for download from the National Mentoring Resource Center website or elsewhere online.

More detailed information about the procedures used by the Research Board to review resources can be found here:

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