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The Nuts and Bolts of Peer Review for Social Scientists


What is it?

The Nuts and Bolts of Peer Review for Social Scientists

Target audience

This workshop will benefit early career researchers in the social sciences who are new t0 the peer review process in relation to journal papers, conference abstracts and research grant applications, those seeking to improve their own peer review skills and those trying to understand how peer evaluators might perceive and assess the work of others, with a view to improving the quality and readability of their own papers, conference abstracts and grant proposals.

Programme components

The workshop is a half day workshop and aims to demystify the peer review process.  You will be given the opportunity to explore

  • What peer review is
  • How to do it  constructively  by undertaking a practice review of a journal article
  • What the strengths and weaknesses of peer review are
  • How to assess conference abstracts (and improve your own conference abstracts)
  • What is involved in assessing research grant applications


You will need to read a paper (which will be made available to you beforehand) and write a mock review for discussion in the group before the workshop begins.


Rosemary Deem is Professor of Higher Education Management in the School of Business & Management.  She is a sociologist and former Chair of the British Sociological Association. As an elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences since 2006, she is currently a member of the Academy’s Publications Committee. She is an experienced journal editor (currently a co-editor of the Springer journal Higher Education and has also previously been joint editor of The Sociological Review and founding editor of  the Journal of Teacher Development).  She was an Education Sub-Panel member for the UK Research Assessment Exercise (now renamed the Research Excellence Framework or REF) in 1996, 2001 and 2008. She was a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Grants Board from 1999 – 2003. In 2014 she chaired the Social Sciences Panel for a national research centres evaluation in Portugal.  She is a member of the European Science Foundation’s Peer Review College and is regularly engaged in chairing and conducting evaluations of research projects and research fellowships for ESF.  She also reviews conference abstracts for a variety of national and international conferences.


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