Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject will focus on a variety of modes of scientific communication and research skills including data presentation, aspects of copyright and plagiarism, the use of scientific journals, scientific databases, abstracting journals and online resources. Students will be expected to engage with and interpret recent scientific literature, write literature reviews, use online software for referencing support and deliver an oral presentation.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorJeff Yeoman

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in one of the following courses: SGBB, SMBB, SMBM, SMBT, SMNT or SZHSMN. All other students require coordinator approval.


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsEssential skills for science and technologyRecommendedZeegers, P, Deller-Evans, K, Egege, S & Klinger, COXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Present data from a peer-reviewed scientific paper that demonstrates: - understanding of the content; - an ability to interpret and explain scientific content to a scientifically literate audience; - critical evaluation of the data

weekly journal club classes - students undertake activities in which they discuss what information they would present from an assigned paper which is then presented to them in the suggested format. Students discuss oral presentation skills and what contributes to effective presentations Students are assigned a figure to present from a recent journal article which they present as a formative exercise and their presentation skills and the audience comprehension is discussed in small groups to provide feedback for their second summative presentation.

02. Write a literature review that demonstrates ability to: - search the scientific literature for material relevant to a specific area of scientific knowledge; - critically evaluate the scientific literature; - paraphrase sufficiently and reference appropriately; - integrate information from multiple sources to present a cohesive "story"; - effectively document and communicate scientific information; - correctly and appropriately acknowledge information sources.

lectures and workshops are conducted throughout the semester with activities aimed at developing the skills for writing a scientific literature review. these including finding information (how to search literature databases and access journals); reading and interpreting data; taking notes and organising information; plagiarism, paraphrasing and integrating information; appropriate referencing styles and acknowledgment of information sources; planning and structuring a literature review. These activities are assessed through a combination of quizzes and short in-class exercises.

03. To present data from a peer-reviewed scientific paper in the form of a scientific poster that demonstrates: - understanding of the content; - critical evaluation of the data; - an ability to select pertinent data and tell a complete story with space and word constraints - an ability to interpret and present scientific content to a scientifically literate audience - an ability to work in a team to agree on the chosen data and format for presentation

lectures and workshops with formative activities - what is the purpose of a scientific poster; examining, analysing and critiquing existing posters; what are the components and structure of a scientific poster

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2017, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorJeff Yeoman

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture/Workshop Week: 11 - 22
One 1.0 hours lecture/workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 11 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

WorkShop Week: 11 - 22
One 1.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 11 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
One 2000 word assignmentEach student will write a literature review on a given topic. A draft (~500 words) will be submitted and formative feedback will be given before the final report (~2000 words) is submitted.40 02
class based reading and writing exercises (equivalent to 750 words)Students will peer review each other's draft literature reviews and submit a written report analysing and reflecting on the feedback they give and receive.15 01, 02, 03
plan for major assignment (equivalent to 500 words)Students will submit an outline of the topics they plan to research toward their literature reviews and receive feedback before beginning their research.10 02
two 5 minute class presentationsA weekly journal club will run throughout the semester and each student will present twice.10 01
Poster - group presentation (equivalent to 500 words per student)Students will form groups and present a poster to showcase the results of their reseach.10 03
3 quizzesThree x 10 - 20 question quizzes administered through the LMS containing both MCQ and short written answers.15 02