The aim of the Peer Review Project is to promote publication of academic research from the global South in international peer-reviewed journals in the fields of gender and sexuality, human and sexual rights, and reproductive health. The program was implemented with Ford Foundation support in conjunction with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UZKN); both in South Africa.
The Peer Review Project was conducted as an online workshop directed from ESE:O’s online campus and implemented using a LMS (Learning Management System) e-ducativa platform over a period of six months.
The Project was carried out in three phases:
- Phase I (March 2006-June 2007) examined the content of six leading peer-reviewed journals in the fields of gender and sexuality, and sexual and reproductive rights and health. This study demonstrated the under-representation of articles by academics from the global South.
- Phase II (August 2007-February 2009) consisted of developing and implementing two pilot courses to coach academics from the South to write and publish articles in leading academic journals in these fields.
- Phase III (ending Sept 2009) evaluated the pilot courses and developed a new course, launched in September 2009.
The methodology used to teach writing skills is based on a flexible system of incremental steps to guide students through the writing process. These steps cover four areas: motivation, argument, writing and publishing.
The distinguishing element of ESE:O’s online methodology is interaction — between students and peers, students and instructors, and among all course participants via a peer review system.
Through the constructive criticism and feedback offered by instructors and peer revision, participants develop skills in critical thinking, planning and writing, and the capacity to participate productively in online discourse communities.