New reviewers (in peer-reviewed journals) evaluate the language as well as the science of the work published. Here are some questions they ask:

  1. Does the paper fit the standards and scope of the journal it is being considered for?
  2. Is the research question clear?
  3. Was the approach appropriate?
  4. Are the study design , methods and analysis appropriate to the question being studied?
  5. Is the study innovative or original?
  6. Does the study challenge existing paradigms or add to existing knowledge?
  7. Does it develop novel concepts ?Does it matter ?
  8. Are the methods described clearly enough for other researchers to replicate ?
  9. Are the methods of statistical analysis and level of significance appropriate?
  10. Could presentation of the results be improved and do they answer the question?
  11. If humans, human tissues or animals are involved, was ethics approval gained and was the study ethical?
  12. Are the conclusions appropriate?
If the science is sound but the language is poor, some reviewers may suggest edits, whereas others might flag up to the editor that the paper needs an English language edit. If the language is so poor it is difficult to assess the science you might recommend the author improves the language and resubmit.

Critical Review Questions

To improve your research skills you need to learn how to write a critical review:

These are some questions you should ask about a text:
• Has the author formulated a research question/problem/issue?
• Is the question clearly defined?
• Is the significance of the question clearly established?
• Could the question be approached more effectively from another perspective?
• What is the author’s research orientation?
• Who is the intended audience for the text?
• Are main points adequately explained?
• Are comments adequately supported?
• Are the research/methodology/samples/tests/conclusions valid?
• Are measurements clear and sufficiently detailed?
• Is more (or less) data needed?
• Are arguments logically sound/interesting/relevant/timely?
• Is more information needed?
• What style/language/examples are used?
• Does the text contribute new knowledge/perspectives or contradict and refute existing views?
• What are the limitations of the text?
More personal perspectives:
• How does the text help me to understand the topic?
• What part of the text inspires me?
• How does this text relate to the research question I’m developing?

From: http://life.curtin.edu.au/learning-support/critical_review.htm


Introduction to Proteins

Here is a video on Protein structure we will be watching in class.



After listening to a radio segment describing the protein game Fold.it, answer the following questions:

Group A
1. What is Fold.it?
2. Fold.it is designed to answer a large biological question. What is the question scientists are aiming to answer? How is that a great challenge for scientists? Why (not)?
3. Is the game designed for scientists or laypeople? To what extent, is this facilitating its main objective?
4.  (Optional) Make an account and write a brief review of the challenges you encountered or skills you improved.


English 2 students are required* to attend the Library seminars on the following dates.

Department of Chemistry Tuesday or Thursday at 10.00-11.00
(24th and 26th March, 2015)

Department of Materials Science Monday at 13.00-14.00
(23rd March, 2015)

*Students who attend the seminar will have one less assignment to submit for the English 2 course.

This week we will be looking at Shape Memory Polymers, what stimuli induce the change of shape, and how austenite and martensite phases are significant.


Separation Techniques

This week we will be looking at a variery of separation techniques. Here is an excellent video we will be watching on the basics of Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC).

And here is the students’ handout to go along with it.



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