Peer reviewing scientific research
Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
10.000 Credits or 5.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Anthony Blanchfield
Overall aims and purpose
The main purpose of the module is to provide students with an in-depth understanding and critical appreciation of publishing peer revised scientific papers. This key skill is necessary for academics to be able to perform effectively. It is the aim of this module therefore to provide MRes students with the opportunity to engage in the peer review process specifically by acting as the reviewer and the reviewee on a theoretical manuscript submission.
This independent study based module will enable students to gain an in-depth understanding of the peer review publication process. Consequently, students will work closely with a supervisor to perform an initial review of a paper previously submitted (and subsequently published) research article. Following this review, the student will follow the paper along the peer review process. Consequently following discussion of their review with the supervisor, the students will be required to adequately address concerns which have been raised. Collectively this will mean that the student will cover a contemporary research topic in a highly focused and in-depth manner gaining a comprehensive understanding of how to prepare their own manuscripts (e.g., research proposal, dissertation) and how to evaluate the research of others.
Pass: Fair understanding evident via reasonably well structured assignments however some irrelevance is present. Presentation of information contains several factual or interpretational errors. There will be somewhat limited evidence of sound critical thought and a patchy grasp of relevant study design and statistical issues. In addition to some ability to formulate arguments and justification there will also be only relatively limited evidence of effective problem solving
Merit: Some very good understanding evident via well structured and somewhat concise assignments. Good presentation of information which is mostly free of factual or interpretational errors. There will be some good evidence of critical thought as well as a good grasp of relevant study design and statistical issues. In addition to an ability to formulate arguments and justification there will also be evidence of some effective problem solving.
Distinction: Detailed and comprehensive understanding evident via well structured, concise and highly focused assignments. Excellent presentation of information containing no factual or interpretational errors. Ample evidence of critical thought as well as a comprehensive grasp of relevant study design and statistical issues including their interplay. In addition to a clear ability to formulate robust arguments and justification there will also be an excellent demonstration of problem solving.
Critically engage in the peer review research process
Critique contemporary empirical research in the advocated style of an academic reviewer
Express complex research-related issues/principles concisely
Address reviewer questions in the advocated style of a manuscript author
|COURSEWORK||review of manuscript||
In Assignment 1, having agreed on a manuscript to review with their supervisor the student takes on the hypothetical role of a manuscript peer reviewer. To achieve this the student will critique the manuscript in the style that an academic peer reviewer might if they had been asked to act on behalf our a journal as a guest reviewer. The paper to review should ideally be a pre-submission version of a manuscript that your supervisor is about to submit or has previously submitted for publication - It is up to the student and supervisor to find and agree on a suitable manuscript to review. Where possible the topic of the selected manuscript should be similar to the topic of your MRes project, however this is not compulsory.
|COURSEWORK||response to review||
In Assignment 2, the student will now change roles by taking on the hypothetical role of the author who originally submitted the manuscript for review. For Assignment 2 the student will therefore adopt the style that an author might adopt when addressing peer-review feedback from a manuscript reviewer. To achieve this, for Assignment 2 the student should respond to the points that were originally critiqued in Assignment 1. The student should write a cover letter and highlight the way that the manuscript has hypothetically addressed the points raised in Assignment 1.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Students should liaise with their MRes supervisor to select an academic paper to review. Ideally this will be the in-prep version of an existing academic paper that is authored by the supervisor. Supervision time between student and supervisor should meet to discuss the selected paper, to discuss the peer review process and to discuss any draft work that precedes assignment submission.
For September 2020 we will be starting the academic year with a blended learning approach in response to Covid 19. For the most up to date information on this please look at https://www.bangor.ac.uk/courses/september-faqs.php.en”.
This module is very much focused on independent learning and planning while working alongside your MRes supervisor. Students should use their private time to arrange meeting swith their supervisor and to provide a reviewer for an academic journal submission. They should choose a paper of their own to review, preferably one in their field of study. They may use supervisor support to discuss the processes behind a per review and may even obtain some examples of previous processes to guide them. This method will provide students with a key academic ability: To independently critique a research paper to ensure that the standards of that paper are of sufficient academic rigour prior to publication.
After discussing their review with their supervisor students will again take an independent stance but this time will act as author and hence respond to reviewers comments. This process is very much completed in the private time of the student, however students should use their supervisor for support during the process.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
Subject specific skills
- research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
- critically assess and evaluate data and evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources
- describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
- plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work, which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of, appropriate data
- apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems
- develop a sustained reasoned argument, perhaps challenging previously held assumptions
- demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
- work effectively independently and with others
- take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
- project manage and execute practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures whilst demonstrating high levels of relevant skills
- demonstrate an understanding of the philosophical basis of scientific paradigms
- demonstrate evidence of competence in the scientific methods of enquiry, and interpretation and analysis of relevant data and statistical outputs.
- develop transferable skills of relevance to careers outside of sport, health and exercise sciences.
- communicate succinctly at a level appropriate to different audiences.
- accurately interpret case study data