Information for current or potentially new reviewers of Honours students

Information for current or potentially new reviewers of Honours students

Honours students graduating The Honours program at College of Medicine and Dentistry at james Cook University, Australia allows students to learn about research and undertake research later in their professional career. This is an opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding of how new knowledge is acquired. An Honours degree advances the academic qualifications of graduates in an increasingly competitive field. The Honours program has a strong focus on learning by doing and goes over one year (full time) or two years (50%). We currently take on 30-40 new Honours students each year.

The need for reviewers of Honours students

The Honours students have a few components being assessed and graded:

  1. Entry seminar
  2. Systematic literature review
  3. Exit seminar
  4. Thesis
  5. Academic performance

The Entry and exit seminars are graded by staff locally available at James Cook University or a geographically nearby health clinic or hospital. The systematic literature review and the thesis are reviewed online so these reviews can be done from anywhere in the world. We generally use three reviewers for each student. Finally the academic performance is assessed by the students own advisors.

We do not provide a financial reimbursement to reviewers. The rewards is that you as a reviewer will know that you assist in educating medical practitioners and dentists in a geographical area where these professions are sparse relative the need. We also recommend you to mention in your resume (CV) that you have been a reviewer for the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University Australia. The Honours program depends heavily on the time and effort put in by reviewers like you and the College of Medicine and Dentistry appreciates your effort as a reviewer.

Reviewers external to James Cook University

We use national and international experts as reviewers to review the systematic literature review and the thesis. These components are reviewed online so the reviewer can be anywhere in the world. Your input as a reviewer is very valuable before the student submits their work to a scientific journal.

Some clarifications

information Reviewing the systematic literature review
The literature review is comparable to a manuscript for submission. In fact we encourage the students to write the review so it is in a submission ready format. The students are encouraged to follow the instructions given at Science-Network.TV.
information Reviewing the thesis

The student can choose between doing an Honours thesis by publication or by monograph. In a thesis by publication the student only submit a manuscript presenting their own data with its interpretation, preferrably prepaired according to author instructions for a scientific journal. Virtually all students nowadays go for a thesis by publication which is similar to a standard manuscript submitted to a journal (roughly 1,500-4,000 words).

In a thesis by monograph the student writes a thesis as a monograph being between 10,000-20,000 words. The Honours committee decided 5th of February 2015 that the literature review component should not be reviewed again when reviewing a thesis by monograph because it is already graded previously. This means that you as a reviewer don't have to read that part of the thesis. In a thesis by monograph you should only focus on the part describing their own project with data collection and subsequent analysis.
information Technical aspects of the review process
As a reviewer you will be given clear grading scales and a guide of how to interpret them. The review of the systematic literature review and the thesis is done online in this web system. Once you are a reviewer you will find a step by step instruction (only visible after login and after you are designated as a reviewer).
information When is my services as a reviewer needed?
The entry seminar is usually held during April-May and the exit seminar in August. The literature reviews are usually eligible for review from mid September to early October. The thesis are usually eligible for review from late September to mid October. We usually allow a turn around time of approximately three weeks for the review.
information Conflict of interest
Reviewers should not be relatives or friends (or enemies) to the student or any advisor. Furthermore, reviewers should not have a scientific conflict of interest. In practical terms, this means that they should not have published or received a grant with the student or any of their advisors in the previous five years.

Requirements on reviewers

The Honours course is a course in research methods rather than a course in a specific topic. Thus, the evaluation of the student focuses on the research component. It would be difficult for the reviewer to evaluate a students research performance if the assessor has much less experience of research than the student. This is the reason why it is important to use reviewers educated in research methodology.

The ideal education in research is a PhD or Masters by research. However, being in Australia north of Brisbane significantly reduces the availability of people with a PhD. Hence we strive to engage national and international experts for the components that can be assessed online. For the time being we also use reviewers not having a PhD. The current minimum requirements on a reviewer would be that they have been co-author on a scientific publication at least once. The research component is in focus of the assessment and this aspect is more important than the clinical aspect (although the clinical aspect is of course also relevant).

What should I do if I accept being a reviewer?

Thank you for accepting being a reviewer! We appreciate this! To make this happen please follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure you have an updated personal profile in this research administrative web system. You can ignore completing the CV if you are solely a reviewer and not an advisor in this web system.
  2. E-mail CMD Research telling that you have just created a personal profile and accepts being a reviewer.
  3. CMD Research returns an e-mail telling you that you have been given reviewers privilege.
  4. Go back here and create/update an updated description of your interests and competencies as a reviewer. To do this log in and go to "Help" and the sub menu "For reviewers" (only visible after login). There will be a link at the bottom of this page labelled Please describe yourself as a reviewer - show more. Click on this link and follow instructions. You will have the ability to state periods of unavailability.
  5. Send an e-mail to CMD Research telling that you have completed the description of yourself as a reviewer.

You will be on our list of eligible reviewers once the above is sorted out. We will then have enough information to be able to allocate you a review that is relevant to your expertise. You will not be assigned a review if no work fits your profile. However, we hope that you can remain on our list of eligible reviewers. Please let us know if you later want to be taken out from the list. You may get automated reminders to confirm that your contact details and the description of you as a reviewer is still valid. These are usually send out once annually. We will contact you with an e-mail when we have a suitable review. Hence, please keep your e-mail address in your personal profile updated.

More information

Important dates and deadlines are described on the information web page for students. You can also contact the Honours program coordinator Joe Moxon.. More information is found in the Honours handbook (below).
pdf-icon Honours handbook 2019

PublishedDocument information: Information for current or potentially new reviewers of Honours students | Last modified: 2018-03-21 by Ronny Gunnarsson

Information for current or potentially new reviewers of Honours students, from James Cook University
http://researchweb.org/is/en/jcu/research/for-reviewers