Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject you 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. You 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-ordinatorFung Lay

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, SZHSMN or SMCHS. 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, C, 2011OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Interpret and present data from a scientific paper at a level appropriate to the audience.

Weekly journal club classes - students are assigned journal articles related to their literature review topics which they present and discuss with other students working on the same topic.Students discuss oral presentation skills and what contributes to effective presentations. Their presentation skills and the audience comprehension is discussed in small groups to provide feedback for their second presentation which will be on an article of their own choice.

02. Use databases to acquire and organise relevant scientific literature.

Lectures and workshops will guide students on the appropriate use of scientific resources in order to gather and organise information relating to a topic for the major assignment (a literature review). Online and in-class quizzes will be used to assess the understanding and appropriate use of such resources.

03. Write a critical literature review using appropriate scientific language and academic referencing techniques in a format suitable for publication as a thesis or journal article.

Lectures and workshops are conducted throughout the semester with activities aimed at developing the skills for writing a scientific literature review including: planning and structuring a literature review; understanding plagiarism and paraphrasing; acknowledgement of information sources and using appropriate referencing styles; integration of written information and figures. Formative feedback (from staff and peers) will be provided during planning and drafting stages in order to guide student progress.

04. Collaborate to retrieve, analyse and present scientific information.

Students will work in teams to share and analyse information gathered on their research topics in order to prepare and present a summary of their research in the form of a poster.

05. Design, present and evaluate a scientific poster.

Lectures and workshops will guide students on how to prepare, present and critique a scientific poster. Posters will be prepared in teams and presented for assessment in a conference-like setting. Students will practice critical analysis skills by contributing to peer evaluation of each other's posters.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorFung Lay

Class requirements

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.

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.

Lecture Week: 11 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 11 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
One 2,000-word literature reviewEach student will write a literature review on a given topic. Feedback from their plan and draft will be used to help guide the final assignment.30 03
Planning for major assignment (equivalent to 1,000-words)Students will submit an outline of the topics they plan to research toward their literature reviews and submit a draft of their first 2 pages of writing. Formative feedback will be provided to help guide and improve their final assignment.20 02, 03
Class based reading and writing exercises (equivalent to 750-words)Students will peer review each other's journal club presentations and draft literature reviews and submit a written report analysing and reflecting on the feedback they give and receive.15 01, 02, 03
Two 5 minute in-class presentations (equivalent to 250-words each)A weekly journal club will run throughout the semester and each student will present twice. Presentations will be marked by both staff and students.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 research.10 04, 05
3 quizzes (equivalent to 250-words each)Three x 10 - 20 question quizzes administered through the LMS containing both MCQ and short written answers.15 02, 03