Research Request from Susan Elgie

Dear CERA Colleagues,
Many thanks to those of you who have forwarded copies of scholarly peer reviews. If you have not, please consider sending copies of peer reviews of papers, conference proposals or proposals for funding that you have received in the last 10 years to scholarlyreviewstudy@gmail.com . The deadline is February 20, so there is still time! The formal invitation follows.

I am writing to invite you to participate in a research study titled: “Scholarly Reviews: What Do They Tell Us about Research Methods?” The purpose of the study is look at the content of scholarly reviews, particularly from the perspective of research methods and methodology. By analysing and presenting information about the content and themes of scholarly reviews I hope to support the work of researchers both as creators and receivers of reviews. I will present the results of the study at a scholarly meeting, hopefully Congress 2016 and intend to write a paper for publication.

I am conducting this study as an independent researcher. I have been an active educational researcher for many years at OISE, University of Toronto and in private practice.

I hope that you will participate in this study by sending an email message to scholarlyreviewstudy@gmail.com and attaching one or more scholarly reviews (or sets of reviews) that you have received in the past 10 years. There is no need to send any additional text (e.g. from an editor) but just the reviews. The reviews may be in response to a conference proposal, a funding proposal, or a submission to a journal.

The data will be subject to very stringent measures to ensure confidentiality. Only I, as the Principal Investigator, will have access to the data, which will be stored on my personal password-protected computer, usually located in a private home. Reviews received will be stripped from the email message before being read and will be anonymised by stripping them of personal and institutional identification as well as information about the specific area under study. Once the text of the review is incorporated into the project database, the email message will be deleted from my personal computer and email server. I will not use any quotations from reviews. All data will be destroyed in 3 years. I will not use the data for reasons other than those identified above. Unfortunately, I am unable to guarantee confidentiality during the actual transmission of the email. However, the WIFI network I use is password-protected.

Participation in the study is completely voluntary. I do not anticipate any risks to participants. I hope that the results of the study will benefit you and other researchers when writing or receiving scholarly peer reviews. I assume that you have read and understood the content of this message. Submission of materials to the study email address will constitute your voluntary consent to participate in the research. If you have any questions, please contact me at selgie@sympatico.ca or at 416-531-9548. If you wish to withdraw your data (the reviews) from the study, you may do so prior to anonymisation, as it would be quite difficult subsequently.

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Community Research Ethics Office. If you feel that you have not been treated according to the descriptions in the information you received, or your rights as a participant in research have been violated during the course of this project you may contact the Chair, Community Research Ethics Board, Community Research ethics office, 647-447-9628.

Finally, I would like again to invite you to participate in this study by sending the text(s) of one or more scholarly reviews that you have received during the past 10 years to scholarlyreviewstudy@gmail.com.