OER19 Guidance for Reviewers


As a reviewer you will be assigned proposals to review, taking into account any reviewing preference you have expressed when you joined the Committee.

Session and submission formats

Reflective practice presentations Reflective practice presentations offer a contribution towards the practice of open education, e.g. case studies, descriptive accounts, etc., but with a reflective and critical component.

Time: 20 minutes (typically 15-minute presentation, 5 minutes Q+A)Abstract word limit: 500

Research presentations Research presentations offer a theoretical and/or empirical contribution towards open education; located clearly in the field through, for example, a literature review.

Time: 20 minutes (typically 15-minute presentation, 5 minutes Q+A)Abstract word limit: 500

Workshops and panels Workshops may follow a variety of formats, but all are hands-on, engaged and interactive. Panels may consist of a panel discussion, interview, etc. Due to the high demand for these sessions, we have to limit the number of workshop/panel proposals to those who clearly demonstrate how participants will engage.

In both cases, please specify the topic, format, chair of the session, and all participating as facilitators/panel members.

Time: 60 minutes (with optional extension to 90 minutes for workshops). Abstract word limit: 500

Alt-format [7 minutes maximum] Alternative short formats are very welcome (indeed encouraged), e.g. demos, Pecha Kucha, spoken word, TED-style talk, multimodal presentations, performance, improvisation, screening a digital story, web content, etc. This format asks you to be creative, to share an idea in a way that speaks to heart and mind.

Time: 7 minutes Abstract word limit: 250

Open spaces We’d like also to facilitate spaces for people to engage in emerging conversations. We invite experienced facilitators to offer to create a space for participants to interact and engage with issues during conference. Please provide as much information as possible regarding suggested topic/question, format, anticipated time requirements, anticipated number of participants, how participants will engage, etc.

Time: 30 minutes or 60 minutes Abstract word limit: 500

Posters and videos Posters will be displayed online and in the conference area and videos will be displayed online. These should clearly address one or more of the conference questions.

Abstract word limit: 250


Submission criteria

  • The maximum word count for proposal abstracts is 500 words for presentations, workshops, panels, and open spaces, and 250 words for alt-format, posters, and videos. Proposals that exceed the word limit will not be accepted or reviewed.
  • Presentation proposals should include references, which will be counted towards the 500-word limit. Ideally presentation proposals should include two or three references, and six at most. References should follow the Harvard System (parenthetical referencing – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenthetical_referencing).
  • Required fields for submission are: conference theme; session type; author name; email; affiliation; title; abstract.
  • All proposals will be double-blind peer-reviewed, so abstracts should not include the names or affiliations of the authors.
  • Contributions should not have appeared elsewhere in their entirety, although it is understood that earlier versions or portions of OER19 contributions may have been openly published prior to the conference.
  • To ensure a suitably diverse programme, no individual can be named as the main author or presenter of more than one proposal, though they may be named as co-authors.

Note for proposals with a commercial focus

We do not accept proposals with a primary focus on demonstrating services or products offered by a commercial provider and which do not explicitly address the conference theme(s) in a learning context. If you are unsure of how best to submit your proposal, we encourage you to attend our author webinars or contact us directly.

Review criteria

Proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the conference title ‘Recentering open: Critical and global perspectives’ and to one or more of the conference key questions
  • Usefulness to conference participants globally, and from across all sectors of education
  • Contribution to the provision of reliable evidence for scholarship and research into Open Education
  • Demonstrated evidence of reflection, evaluation, and criticality
  • Engagement of participants
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Openness
  • Clarity, coherence and conformance to guidelines.

Education is considered broadly, incl. formal and informal learning settings in schools, colleges, universities, the workplace, homes and communities, at any stage in learners’ lives.

How to write feedback for authors

The feedback you provide is sent to authors, so keep this in mind when writing your comments.

Be concise, sometimes a sentence or two is enough and we ask that feedback is as clear and specific as possible, referring directly to sentences or sections of the proposal that should be revised.

Here are tips from other reviewers:

  • Avoid praising or criticising the author(s), make sure all comments refer to the proposal. Rather than general comments, consider giving a few specific  points of positive feedback, followed by suggestions for change, which (as suggested below) should be focussed on what the author could do to improve the proposal.
  • Try to write feedback that you’d be happy to receive and that the authors can clearly action. Be positive in your language and constructive in your suggestions. rather than simply stating any problems that you identify or anticipate for the session, you can suggest changes/additions to the proposal that would improve it (particularly in line with the review criteria). . For example: If you think a workshop proposal sounds more like a one-way presentation, you might say “This session  would benefit from more interaction; please include details of the ways participants will be invited to engage during the session”.
  • Remember that just because someone has done something in a different way than you would have done it, does not make them wrong. Please be respectful and be explicit about the nature of the advice you are giving. For example, are you offering suggestions for consideration (“the proposal could be enhanced by the inclusion of…”), or insisting on a problem being fixed (“this section is unclear and should be rewritten”)?
  • Keep in mind that our authors come from different sectors and backgrounds and English may not be their first language.

Review outcomes

Once you have reviewed the proposals against the criteria, please choose one of the following outcomes:

Decision Description
Accept Accept the proposal with no changes (i.e. a strong proposal, everything is as it should be).
Accept with minor revisions Accept the proposal with only minor changes (i.e. a strong proposal, but usually lacking in one aspect, for example too little reflection or information, lack of criticality, lack of participant engagement, etc.). . Your feedback will be directly sent to the authors, so be as clear and detailed as you can about what changes they should make.
Accept as different type Accept the proposal, but as a different type. Use this option if you feel the proposal would be better as a poster, Alt-format, etc. In your feedback, please  specify how the proposal should be revised in order to be accepted as a different type of session.
Recommend re-submission The proposal cannot be accepted, but you feel that it meets the criteria to a sufficient degree that it could be accepted if it was revised significantly. Your feedback will be directly sent to the authors, so be as clear and detailed as you can be about what changes they should make.
Reject Reject the proposal if it is out of scope, of poor quality, or otherwise fails to meet the review criteria, and you feel it cannot be improved sufficiently by making revisions.

Review timetable

As a reviewer you will receive requests to review via email (to the same address with which you signed up to the Conference Committee). We are using a new review system this year, which will not require you to set up an account or sign in to OCS, which was previously the case.


  • 01 December 2018 – Call for Proposals closes (no extensions)


  • 03 December 2018 – Reviewing starts
  • 05 December 2018 – Drop-in session for reviewers  (following the committee meeting)
  • 16 December 2018 – Initial review deadline
  • 17/18 December 2018 – 15 January 2019 – Decisions to authors

Registration for authors opens in December 2018 and we plan to open with Round 1 decisions.