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Peer Review of Research Policy
This document sets out the University of Canberra policy on peer review of research. Impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field has a number of important roles in research and research management, in the assessment of grant applications, in selecting material for publication, in the review of performance of researchers and teams, and in the selection of staff.

The University is committed to encouraging participation in peer review, as a means of obtaining expert scrutiny of a project, maintaining high standards, and encouraging accurate, thorough and credible research reporting. Peer review also plays an important part in the detection of deviations from the principles contained within the Australian Code of Responsible Conduct of Research (the National Code) and the University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy.
This policy applies to all members of the University community (staff and students) who are undertaking research.
  1. In accordance with the National Code, the University is committed to ensuring that the responsibilities of peer reviewers and the responsibilities of researchers are upheld.
  2. Peer review must be conducted responsibly. It is important that participants in peer review:
    • are fair and timely in their review;
    • act in confidence and do not disclose the content or outcome of any process in which they are involved;
    • declare all conflicts of interest, do not permit personal prejudice to influence the peer review process, and do not introduce considerations that are not relevant to the review criteria;
    • do not take undue or calculated advantage of knowledge obtained during the peer review process;
    • ensure that they are informed about, and comply with, the criteria to be applied;
    • do not agree to participate in peer review outside their area of expertise; and
    • give proper consideration to research that challenges or changes accepted ways of thinking.
  3. It is similarly important that researchers commit to the following:
    • Researchers whose work is undergoing peer review must not seek to influence the process or outcomes of the review process;
    • Researchers in receipt of public funding have a responsibility to participate in peer review processes; and
    • Researchers supervising research students have a responsibility to assist research students in developing the necessary skills for peer review and understanding their obligation to participate.
This policy is governed by the University of Canberra Act 1989 (ACT) and informed by the National Code.
Supporting Information:
This policy is part of a suite of policies designed to ensure the responsible conduct of research by all University staff and students. The National Code constitutes the national guidelines for institutions and researchers in responsible research practices, and was jointly developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia. This National Code provides the basis for the University of Canberra Responsible Conduct of Research Policy. The University policies in this area are designed to ensure compliance with the National Code, and also with the conditions of public funding bodies.
Terms Definitions
Peer review Impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field