MERLOT Peer Review Information and Process

Stages of a Peer Review

Editorial Boards

Become a Peer Reviewer

GRAPE Camp Information

MERLOT Awards

 

MERLOT has over 20 Editorial boards, each run by an Editor and includes a group of Peer Reviewers that are the essence of MERLOT materials. As a Peer Reviewer, you participate in the peer review process (described below). Each Editorial Board has an Editor that triages each material in their discipline and assigns it to a reviewer in their discipline. This section describes both the Peer Review Processes and MERLOT GRAPE Camp.

Materials in MERLOT that have been peer reviewed are eligible each year to become a MERLOT Classic award winner. You can find information about MERLOT awards below in the MERLOT Awards section.

 

Stages of a Peer Review

Within each Editorial Board, there are three stages to completing a peer review:

Stage 1. Developing Evaluation Standards

The MERLOT editorial boards provide leadership, tools, and training in developing evaluation standards and processes for peer review which include:

Stage 2. Conducting Evaluations

Editorial boards decide on the process for selecting materials to be peer reviewed. If a collection of materials is not large enough to adequately establish inter-rater reliability, its editorial board works to expand the collection. Peer reviewer teams typically do the following:

Stage 3. Reporting Evaluations

The Editor or Associate Editor reviews the individual reviews and creates an integrated or composite peer review report in Workspace. The Editor sends the composite peer review to the material author(s) for feedback, and permission to post the review. When permission is obtained, the Editor posts the composite peer review report on the MERLOT website. Authors may ask the Editor to send letters to two individuals of their choice, summarizing the peer review process and including the composite report.

Additional Review Options in MERLOT

Crowd Sourced Review: Every learning material in the collection is described in detail in its own Detail Description Page. Registered MERLOT Members have an opportunity on every Detail Description Page to share their view of the value of a material by 1) rating it, 2) commenting on it, and 3) by starting or participating in a discussion of that material.

For additional detailed information on the process of peer review, contact the Director of Editorial Boards for more information at beareviewer@merlot.org.

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Editorial Boards

Editorial boards are the cornerstones of MERLOT. They lead the development of MERLOT's discipline communities - one Editorial Board for each community - and are comprised of:

  1. An Editor
  2. Associate Editors
  3. Peer reviewers

Editors, Associate Editors, and peer reviewers are nominated by System Partners, Campus Partners, and the MERLOT Management Team. Many peer reviewers are those who volunteer their own time to review for MERLOT. All MERLOT editorial board members are faculty with:

Each editorial board is responsible for:

Here is a complete list of MERLOT editorial boards and associated editors.

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Become a Peer Reviewer

To become a Peer Reviewer for MERLOT, individuals must be an instructor in an institution of higher education and have:

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GRAPE Camp Information

MERLOT has developed an orientation for Peer Reviewers to ensure that they become familiar with MERLOT processes and policies on Peer Review. MERLOT Management conducts GRAPE Camp (Getting Reviewers Accustomed to the Process of Evaluation) to assist Peer Reviewers on a regular basis.  GRAPE Camp consists of a series of three one-hour workshops online, one per week.  In these webinars, participants will: 

The webinar includes people from a variety of disciplines and is archived so participants can review the material as needed. For information about GRAPE Camp, contact Cathy Swift.

You can attend GRAPE Camp Orientation three ways:

  1. You can attend the live webinars at the dates and times listed below
  2. You can sign up for the asynchronous session in which the recording of the live session is sent out right afterwards.
  3. You can opt for our self-study which you complete on your own.

Live sessions are scheduled on the following dates and times:

  1. August – Thursday (13, 20, 27) at 11 AM Eastern, 10 AM Central, 9 AM Mountain, 8 AM Pacific
  2. September – Tuesday (15, 22, 29) at 3 PM Eastern, 2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, 12 PM Pacific
  3. October – Thursday (15, 22,29) at 11 AM Eastern, 10 AM Central, 9 AM Mountain, 8 AM Pacific
  4. November – Thursday (5, 12, 19) at 3 PM Eastern, 2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, 12 PM Pacific
  5. December – Tuesday (1, 8, 15) at 11 AM Eastern, 10 AM Central, 9 AM Mountain, 8 AM Pacific

You can sign up for any of these sessions here.

You can also participate in the discussions about GRAPE Camp in MERLOT Voices.


Comments from GRAPE Camp Participants

"I've been reviewing papers for years, but this is the first time I've actually been taught how to do it properly.  GRAPE Camp will improve the quality of my work as an author and as a reviewer."

"It helped me a lot to learn how to make my lessons and materials better by reviewing others.  I could find my own problems by watching peer's lessons."

"I didn't realize that peer reviewers normally receive awards.  This definitely interested me."

"It is apparent that MERLOT is a fine organization that appreciates its reviewers and operates as a team."

"This was a really enjoyable training experience.  I'm quite excited at the prospect of applying the skills I learned toward (potentially-hopefully) improving the OER experience for educators in search of materials."

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MERLOT Awards

The MERLOT Awards program recognizes and promotes outstanding online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning and to honor the authors and developers of these resources for their contributions to the academic community. Each MERLOT Editorial Boards selects an outstanding resource from its discipline to receive the MERLOT Classics award. MERLOT provides awards in three areas:

1. Exemplary Online Materials Awards

Awards for Exemplary Online Materials are presented to authors of peer-reviewed learning resources contributed to MERLOT. The awards honor the authors and developers of these resources for their contributions to the academic community by conferring the MERLOT Classics Awards. In years past MERLOT also presented a Editor's Choice Awards, however that award is no longer given out. Each Editorial Board selects an outstanding peer-reviewed learning material in its discipline to receive the Classics award according to program criteria. The Editors’ Council, composed of the editors of each MERLOT Editorial Boards, further reviewed the Classics awardees and selected among them, the resource they consider to be an exemplary model for all disciplines. These resources then received the highest award of honor, the MERLOT Editors’ Choice award. The Editors’ Choice Award was curtailed in 2007 in order to provide more awards for the Application of MERLOT. Past Exemplary Online Material award winners are listed here.

Authors wishing to have their learning material considered to receive the Classics Award must first contribute the material to MERLOT. Once the material is submitted it needs to be peer-reviewed by the Editorial Board, which may take several months. Materials are only considered for the award when they are catalogued in the disciplines for which there are Editorial Boards. Editorial Boards make their decisions regarding the Classics Award in December for awards at the Innovate Conference the following Spring. Authors who wish to have their materials considered should send email to beareviewer@merlot.org.

2. Application of MERLOT Awards

Application of MERLOT Awards recognize those who demonstrate leadership in the use and application of MERLOT. 

3. Service to MERLOT

These awards are provided to Members who make contributions to MERLOT and also to MERLOT Higher Education Partners for longevity as partners. MERLOT recognizes the outstanding contributions that individuals make to the growth and development of MERLOT. This leadership is rewarded in several ways:

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