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eVision Newsletter February 2010
  For an improved review process

The door to a sustainable knowledge economy is a continuous advancement in Scientific Research; Proper research administration is its key.

The Review process is at the heart of scientific research administration; its quality has a direct impact on both the organization and the researcher credibility. The fairness, transparency and efficiency in which the review is performed do show the quality of the process supporting it.

I have analyzed, designed, automated and implemented many review processes in the public funded research domain in the last 10+ years, and it is clear to me that many funding organizations are now turning towards an automated process to primarily increase review efficiency. I think it is possible to also document if not enhance the fairness and the transparency in the same effort.

To qualify a review process, the following questions come to mind:

    1- Were the reviewers competent and free of any conflict?

    2- Did the reviewers have access to the right documentation and tools
    to perform their duties?

    3- Were all applications treated equally?

    4- Did the reviewers have a chance to assess, comment/score
    and collaborate among each other before the final decision?

    5- Were the reviewers comments shared with applicants in an effort
    to increase the research quality?

    6- Were the reviewers involved in the lifecycle of the funded projects?

Furthermore, the following good practices should be part of any peer review process automation effort:

    1- Allow Program and scientific officers to access a rich and
    structured source of potential reviewers

    2- Incorporate early detection mechanisms for both matching and
    conflicting review assignments

    3- Offer automatic assignment generation based on configuration

    4- Incorporate self assessment process for the potential reviewers

    5- Adopt a Just what/when needed approach in exposing information
    to reviewers

    6- Support multiple review cycles with potentially different objectives
    and participants

    7- Facilitate eCollaboration cycles among reviewers and with the
    research team

    8- Keep reviewers in the loop during the project life cycle

In conclusion of this essay, I would like to shed more light on the fact that a review process should be considered as a continuous process with the endeavour of encouraging quality research. It should be managed as a
coaching process rather than a one-time judgement.

by Adil Hamdouna | Executive Director


In This Issue

For an improved review process

eVision Won Health Canada Mandate

eVision Awarded Project with DRDC

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News and Events

20.01.2011 - eVision Won Health Canada Mandate
eVision won a mandate with Health Canada to review existing correspondence processes, procedures, functions, roles and responsibilities of Health Canada with the health portfolio, compare and analyze correspondence processes, volumes, turn around times, resourcing and systems/tools to 4 other federal government departments of similar size, and provide a report that includes findings, comparative analysis and recommendations.

18.01.2011 - eVision Awarded Project with DRDC
eVision has been mandated to facilitate two workshops with a focus group to develop a draft operational requirement for less lethal weapons for Canadian law enforcement.

Indeed, since the Conducted Energy Weapon was first deployed as a use of force option by Canadian law enforcement in 1999, a number of studies examining CEW usage have subsequently noted the lack of independent, peer reviewed, scientifically credible research concerning the safety of its usage.

18.11.2010 - eVision Participating in the 5th edition REB and Partners Workshop
In a continuing effort to improve our ethics review software "eReviews" and better serve the Research Administration Community, eVision is participating in the workshop organized by the MSSS (Quebec Health Ministry), most Quebec Research Ethics Board members and their partners have come together on Nov 18-19, 2010. This year's workshop theme is "Can we trust each other".


"Since the beginning of the week, our Committee has had conference calls regarding Masters and PhDs training. Please allow me to share with you the positive comments from our Committee members. The reviewing process we have developed to review Masters and PhDs at FRSQ (electronic tools, reviewer triad, score standardization, review criteria and sub-criteria) is considered easy, user friendly, efficient and also fair and impartial for the students."

Pierrette Gaudreau, PhD | FRSQ | Science Counselor
University of Montreal,
Medicine Department, Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology of Aging
University of Montreal Technopole Angus
Research Center Hospital

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