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Guidelines for Reviewers (and authors)

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					GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS AND REVIEWERS

UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG SCHOOL OF HUMAN AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WITS PROGRAMME EVALUATION GROUP VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON METHODOLOGY IN PROGRAMME EVALUATION April 7th to 9th 2010.
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methodological application of theory and paradigms of programme evaluation illustrating methodological application. Position papers (between 4000 and 6000 words), focused on conceptualization and/or methodological application of theories and paradigms of programme evaluation, or standpoint research illustrating applications of programme evaluation theories and paradigms. Workshop materials in the form of PowerPoint presentations (between 12 and 20 powerpoint slides) supported by written handouts (between 2000 and 3000 words). These should be written and presented in such a way as to be useful to others for teaching, training and/or instructional purposes. Case Studies Case studies: short (1000-1500 word) case studies of completed evaluations, illustrating methodological applications. Reports: short (1000-1500 word) technical reports on completed evaluations, illustrating methodological applications. Work in progress short (1000-1500 word) technical reports, illustrating evaluation designs or methodological applications in process.

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http://wpeg.wits.ac.za
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Guidelines for Contributions

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The first stage in the virtual conference involves preparing one or more contributions to the conference in electronic format (MS Word or pdf file). Contributions of the following kinds can be made: • Papers on programme evaluation theory and/or methodology. These should be written and presented in such a way as to be useful to others on both conceptual and/or methodological levels. Workshop materials in the form of PowerPoint presentations supported by written handouts. These should be written and presented in such a way as to be useful to others for teaching, training and/or instructional purposes. Short case studies of completed evaluations. These should be written and presented in such a way as to be useful to others in documenting applications and the practice of programme evaluation.

Upload dates of contributions The virtual conference takes place between 8.30 am South African time (Greenwich time minus two hours) on April 7th 2010, and 5.30 pm South African time (Greenwich time minus two hours) on April 9th 2010. Over this period, contributors to the conference will need to complete the upload of their papers (4000-6000 words), workshop materials in PowerPoint supported by written materials (20003000 words), or case studies (2000-4000 words), in English. Abstracts At time of upload of the contribution (between author(s) will also be asked for supply an abstract of 200 words for each contribution, together with key words. These will be posted on the conference website between April 16th and May 31st 2010, as a record of all the work presented. It should be noted that over this period the main text of the contributions made will not be displayed on the website, for the reason that all contributions submitted to the conference will be subject to reviewing and appraisal.

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As conference organisers, we are looking for the following types of contributons relating to the three areas mentioned above. The type of submissions we

are likely to accept are:
1. • Papers Research papers (between 4000 and 6000 words), focused on conceptualization and/or methodological application of theory and paradigms of programme evaluation. Review papers (between 4000 and 6000 words), focused on conceptualization and/or

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The Reviewing Process
The review and appraisal process will take place over the period between 16th April and May 31st 2010. This process is central to establishing those contributions which will be included in the refereed conference proceedings. For this reason all papers, workshop materials and case studies will be subject to both non-blind reviewing and blind appraisal conducted by members of the programme committee. 1. Each submission will be sent to the two reviewers nominated by the author of the contribution. These reviewers will be asked to conduct nonblind, open reviewing. Each submission will also be appraised by two reviewers nominated by the Program Committee, who will conduct blind review.

recommended by the Chairperson of the Reviews Committee to the Chairperson of the Programme Committee, subject to review by the Conference Chair.

Why the Majority View?
The reasoning behind adopting the majority rule in the acceptance policy is as follows: • Many authors have reported a low level agreement among reviewers. • This is especially the case where work is novel or at the edges of accepted theory or practices. We thus wish to avoid the danger of refusing papers dealing with novel topics. We believe this would be the case if the acceptance policy were oriented in such a way as to just accept those papers where there is no disagreement among reviewers. As a programme committee, we will attempt to administer this policy and these principles fairly. However, the decision of the programme committee, once made will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into either with authors whose contributions are accepted, or with authors whose contributions are not accepted.

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Why a Combination of Non-Blind Review and
Blind Appraisal? The literature on the merits and demerits of blind and non-blind review indicates difference as opposed to consensus. Some authors have concluded that reviewing should best involve blind review. Other authors have reached the opposite conclusion. For this reason we will be adopting a combination of non-blind review and blind appraisal, based on the types the type of refereeing procedures suggested by Kaplan (2005). Kaplan suggests that in order to overcome the weaknesses of blind peer appraisal, review of contributions should also be based on comments provided by colleagues of the authors. The format for the process of non-blind reviewing and blind appraisal envisaged will form an integral part of the procedures used for upload of all draft materials.

Nomination of Reviewers
At time of upload of draft contribution and abstract (April 7th to 9th 2010), the author(s) of each submitted paper/abstract should nominate two non-blind reviewers (accordingly to the submission option selected). The upload form will ask authors to provide the names, institutional affiliations and email addresses of reviewers. Once the upload is completed, the author(s) should at this stage alert the reviewers they have nominated that they will be receiving a request to review from the programme committee. It would also be wise to ensure that reviewers know that the cut-off date for upload of review submissions will be May 31st 2010. Completion of review process: June 30th 2010. Reviewers nominated by the author(s) will be asked to upload their reports by the cut-off date of May 31st 2010. Once these have been uploaded to the website, they will be integrated with the appraisals submitted by reviewers nominated by the programme committee. The process of review and appraisal will be completed by June 30th 2010. Authors will then be informed as to the acceptance or non-acceptance of their contributions for the refereed conference proceedings.

Acceptance policy
The following acceptance policy will be applied to all submissions made to the conference. o All reviews received by cut-off date (May 31st 2010) will be used for making the acceptance or non-acceptance decision. Those reviews received after the cut-off date will not be used. The majority rule will be applied when there is no agreement among reviewers with regards to acceptance or non-acceptance, of a given submission. Non-acceptance of the submission will take place in cases where there is agreement among its reviewers for not accepting it. Where there is a tie among the opinions of the reviewers, acceptance as opposed to non-acceptance of the submission will be

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Guidelines and Criteria for Reviewers

In developing our guidelines and criteria for reviewers, we have drawn on the procedures and criteria recommended by the Educational Systems and Technology Association (Eista, 2009). We suggest three general guidelines and eight specific criteria for reviewers, as follows. General Reviewing Guidelines

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Substantiveness: According this criterion, it is not necessary for the author’s contribution to develop new techniques, or to generate new knowledge. However, the research techniques or evaluation methodologies used in the study should be clearly described, and should shed light on their applicability in a certain domain. Relevance: Importance, usefulness, and/or applicability of ideas, methods and/or techniques described in the contribution for the field of programme evaluation. Appropriateness: Suitability, agreeableness, compatibility, congruity, and adequacy of the methodologies described to the focus on programme methodology, which is the theme of the conference. Significance: Importance and noteworthiness of the ideas, methods and techniques used and/or described in the author’s contribution relative to the literature on programme evaluation. The problem approached should be relevant and natural, and not just chosen by the author(s) because it can be approached by their methods. Above all what is presented in the contribution should be significant and theoretically informed and the ideas presented not just obvious and/or trivial. Quality: Scientific, technical, and/or methodological soundness of the contribution, and in particular the correctness of results and/or reflections presented. We would also ask reviewers to check for Inclusion in the contribution of details that allow checking the correctness of the designs and/or results presented, as well as citations of articles or chapters in the programme evaluation literature. Presentation: Adequate organization of the contribution both in terms of visual presentation, as well as in terms of the language used in it, so as to make its content clear, easily readable and understandable. Final summary comment. Above all, in their final summary comment, we would ask that reviewers check that what is presented is clear. Even short case studies based on technical reports on a narrow topic or work in progress should be reported in such a way that non-experts can comprehend the main contribution and the methods employed. The contribution should not be filled with jargon or be a litany of deep but obscure theory. The information of the paper should be available to the reader with a minimum of effort.

4. Guideline One: Learning and education are life-long processes. The first guideline is based on Stiegelman (1988), who comments “Referee manuscript as you would like to have your own papers treated” (Stiegelman, advice to authors. Radiology 1988; 166:278-280; in Weller, 2002, Editorial Peer Review, its Strength and Weaknesses, Medford, New Jersey). Guideline Two: The purpose of the virtual conference is to focus on programme evaluation methodology. For this reason we would recommend that authors suggest reviewers who are knowledgeable and experienced though to be able to examine content and concepts presented as a potential contribution to the literature on programme evaluation theory and practices. Guideline Two is “Referee each contribution by reviewing it against your knowledge of the literature on programme evaluation”. Guideline Three: The third guideline for reviewers is to “Treat others as you would like to be treated”. We suggest reviewers bear in mind at all times that contributions are made by people who have submitted work which is the best quality of which they are capable at this particular stage in their development. It may be better to be lenient with recommending acceptance than overly stringent, for the reason that it is by getting the opportunity to compare one’s own work with quality contributions made by others, that one’s own work improves. As an organising committeee, we would like these three guidelines to be applied by all reviewers nominated to assist in reviewing material for purposes of inclusion in the refereed conference proceedings. Specific Reviewing Criteria In dealing with what is essentially a variety of different material, we will ask both blind and nonblind reviewers to use a standard form to provide a rating relating to each of the following criteria, as well as a summary comment at the end of the form concerning the suitability of the contribution for inclusion in the conference proceedings: 1. Originality: This contribution is original work by the author(s) which has not to your knowledge been previously presented elsewhere. Rigorousness: The work reported has been rigorously conducted. 9.

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A reviewer’s form containing these reviewing guidelines and criteria can be found on the conference website at:

offensive to individuals or organisations, or in violation of the intellectual property rights of others, either within South Africa (where the virtual conference is being hosted), or internationally. Charles Potter PhD Ray Basson PhD

http://wpeg.wits.ac.za
In using the reviewer’s form, reviewers are asked to rate the contributions and to provide a short comment. In doing so, reviewers are asked to refer to the deadlines which need to be followed in the review process relative to the virtual conference as a whole. These can be found in the Call for Papers on the conference website at:

(On behalf of the Programme Committee and the Wits Programme Evaluation Group, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg).

http://wpeg.wits.ac.za
We would like to stress that review forms submitted later than the cut-off date for reviews (May 31st 2010) will not be included in the programme committee’s acceptance or non-acceptance decision-making process. We would also like to stress that the decision of the programme committee on acceptance or nonacceptance of particular conference contributions for the refereed conference proceedings will be final, and that no correspondence will be entered into around the issue.

Copyright and Disclaimers Authors will be asked to certify at time of upload that their contributions do not contain any information which is copyright protected, ethically inappropriate or offensive to individuals or organisations, or which might violate the intellectual property rights of others. Authors will also be asked to state that they take personal responsibility concerning any possible breach of copyright or intellectual property rights in material submitted to the conference. Though reasonable care can be taken in reviewing and appraising contributions that material presented by contributors is of a good standard, it will not be possible to check for originality of contributions as part of the reviewing and appraisal process. For this reason, the programme committee and the University of the Witwatersrand take no responsibility for any violation of copyright or intellectual property rights in material published on this website as part of the conference process or as part of the refereed conference proceedings. These disclaimers are made on the basis that certification will be provided by individual contributors at time of upload, that they take personal responsibility that any material made available by them on this website as part of the conference or as part of the refereed conference proceedings is not copyright protected, ethically inappropriate or


				
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Description: Guidelines for Reviewers (and authors)