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Peer Review of Research Policy
1. Purpose:
  1. This Policy states the University’s requirements for peer review of research.
2. Scope:
  1. This policy applies to all University of Canberra staff and affiliates (academic, professional, honorary
    appointments) undertaking research activities.
3. Principles:
  1. Peer review of research involves:
    1. Impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field has several important roles in research and research management, including:
      1. assessment of grant applications
      2. selecting material for publication
      3. review of performance of researchers and teams, and
      4. selection of staff
  2. The University is committed to encouraging participation in peer review, through formal and informal mechanisms, as a means of obtaining expert scrutiny of a project, maintaining high standards, and encouraging accurate, thorough and credible research reporting.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, including commitment to the principles of:
    1. Excellence in research, scholarship and teaching
    2. Integrity and respect of all involved in the peer review relationship
    3. Accountability and commitment to outstanding research results that benefit students, staff and affiliates of the University and meet community expectations, and
    4. A willingness to improve to achieve the highest possible standards in research.
    5. Peer review must be conducted responsibly. It is important that participants in peer review: 
      1. are fair and timely in their review
      2. act in confidence and do not disclose the content or outcome of any process in which they are involved
      3. 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
      4. do not take undue or calculated advantage of knowledge obtained during the peer review process
      5. ensure that they are informed about, and comply with, the criteria to be applied
      6. do not agree to participate in peer review outside their area of expertise, and
      7. consider research that challenges, or changes accepted ways of thinking.
    6. It is similarly important that researchers commit to the following:
      1. Researchers whose work is undergoing peer review must not seek to influence the process or outcomes of the review process, and
      2. Researchers in receipt of public funding have a responsibility to participate in peer review processes.
    7. 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. The University is committed to ensuring the satisfaction of student eligibility requirements for domestic students for research review activities and that this responsibility is shared between all parties.
    8. The University is committed to compliance with relevant laws and standards, including to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth) (TEQSA).
    9. The University ensures actions that may affect the candidature and rights of international students studying in Australia are compliant with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth) (ESOS) and the Education for Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001 (ESOS Regulations), which includes requirements for the promotion of quality education and consumer protection for international students. These laws, together with the National Code, are known as the ESOS Framework.
4. Responsibilities:
Who Responsibilities
Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise Owner of the policy
Director Research and Enterprise Services Contact for the policy
5. Legislation:
This policy is governed by the University of Canberra Act 1989 (ACT) and informed by the National Code. In developing this policy, the University has had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
6. Supporting Information:
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Charter of Conduct and Values
Responsible Conduct of Research Policy
Publication and Authorship of Research Policy
Management of Research Data and Primary Research Materials Policy.
7. Definitions:
Terms Definitions
Peer review Impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field
National Code of Practice 2007 (National Code) 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 with the conditions of public funding bodies.
8. Notes:
This Policy commences on 13 July 2020