There is significant potential in young talent for enhancing the credibility of the scientific assessments such as the IPCC’s by contributing to quality assurance and quality control. In this essay, we reflect on an experiment that was done by the Dutch government as part of its government review of a contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). In an effort to review the entire Working Group II contribution to the AR5 within the official review period for the Second Order Draft (SOD), the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency turned to PhD students. This article shows that a systematic review focusing on transparency and errors of a large scientific assessment document using young talented scientists can be successful if certain conditions are met. The reviewers need to have intrinsic motivation to conduct the review. There needs to be a communication plan that fosters engagement and a clear methodology to guide the reviewers through their task. Based on this experiment in review, we reflect on the wider potential for openness and crowdsourcing in scientific assessment processes such as the IPCC’s.