Work Submission and Review Process

CGScholar and Word Versions

The majority of action items and deliverables associated with the EDS will take place within the CGScholar platform, however, all work must be accompanied by a Word document, preferably in the approved Graduate College format (note that the formatting becomes a requirement when you arrive at Chapter 3).

Refer to the community and the Navigating the EDS page for specific milestone requirements. A specific peer review rubric is provided for each peer-reviewed project and presentation to help guide you in the peer review and observation process. You can find the rubrics within the EDS Rubrics page.

Process Reminders

INFORMATIONAL: Assumptions and Expectations throughout the Process
  • Authors maintain and submit their EDS Progress Report at least once per term and use this progress report to notify us when they are ready to submit a milestone for peer review.
  • Authors and peer reviewers have notifications enabled; disabled notifications will lead to delays and missed messages
  • Authors may choose whether to draft their work in CGScholar or Word, but all work must be accurate and complete in both versions for each step in the process, including any changes that may have come after the work was duplicated
    • Write and/or replicate work between CGScholar and Word; these should be mostly the same, with minor exceptions such as media not appearing in Word (replace videos with URLs, etc.)
      1. Optionally, can preview in browser and copy and paste into Word document and attach that
  • Authors should draft the subsequent milestone in the existing work and should not “duplicate” a work in CGScholar until they notify the instructor that they are ready for peer review – this should be done as a very last minute step to avoid unnecessary rework
  • You can not submit the same “Scholar Work” towards more than one project, you will need to follow the instructions on this page to duplicate the work at the appropriate time. Attempting to re-submit an existing work towards a new project will lead to errors and delays.
  • When responding in the CGScholar Dialogue to notify us to review your work, please include the last saved version # (not the “current” version). There should be a date next to the version # and the Word document should also reflect that date.
  • CGScholar work submission and revision deadlines are suggested, but not enforced (authors may receive overdue notices, but it is ultimately up to each author to set their desired revision timeline); however, we ask peer reviewers to complete their work in less than 2 weeks
INFORMATIONAL: Word and Scholar Versions and Titles

As stated above, you must submit everything in both Scholar and Word. The Word document is attached to the Scholar version in a “section” at the top (see the Structure/Headings section for more details).


  • CGScholar Title: Work Type and a brief, yet descriptive title (i.e. General Field: Multiliteracies)
  • Word version of the work filename: Author’s Name, Work Type, brief, yet descriptive title, and current revision date (i.e. John Smith_General Field_Multiliteracies_20221019)
INFORMATIONAL: Basic Work Structure/Headings

Refer to each milestone web page for specific requirements and any additional structural elements.


The Graduate College Word Document format is required at each step.

  1. The first section in CGScholar is called: Word Version and attach the Word file within that section (and place name the Word document per the instructions above, and update the filename with each revision)
  2. Second section in Scholar/First in Word is Note to Reviewers and Change Notes; maintain this throughout the process. Change notes should be specific enough that reviewers can easily identify the changes in your text, but you don’t need to articulate every single change. (don’t say “I made changes based on peer feedback.” Instead, you could say, “Expanded on the strengths and weaknesses of the selected methodology by citing 4 more sources.)
  3. The subsequent sections should follow the Graduate College Format and our examination guidelines
  • Title Page
  • Abstract (placeholder during early milestones)
  • Table of Contents (may be a placeholder during early milestones)
  • Chapter 1: Introduction (placeholder up until preliminary exam manuscript)
  • Chapter 2: Literature Review (by the methods and prelim this will become a single literature review without the two parts specifically mentioned)
    1. Part 1: Genera Field: [Brief Title], with relevant subsections, such as Introduction, Theories, etc.
    2. Part 2: Special Field: [Brief Title], with relevant subsections, such as Introduction, Theories, etc.
  • Chapter 3: Theory and Methodology, with relevant subsections (placeholder until you arrive at that stage)
  • Chapter 4: Findings, again, with relevant subsections (placeholder until you arrive at that stage)
  • Chapter 5: Conclusions, again, with relevant subsections (placeholder until you arrive at that stage)
  • References (maintain a single references section, not distinct ones for each milestone)
  • Appendix

Indenting and Moving Sections in Scholar

To indent in Scholar, you need to click on the + icon next to the section header within the Structure tool and drag and drop it to the right, under the desired parent section. You use this same icon to move sections up and down.

Tables and Figures

Consider how you’ll format and number your tables and figures.

  • Chapter-based numbering is recommended. (i.e. Figure 2.1 would be the first figure in chapter 2). This is useful as your manuscript evolves and you add and remove tables and figures.
  • Be consistent in your numbering schema and styling, including the placement of the labels and captions
  • Ensure table and figure captions are distinct from the body of your text (i.e. use a different font size, alignment, and/or italics, etc.)

Before you begin a Milestone

Only the General Field should start with a brand-new work.

2. ACTION ITEM: Complete Milestone Prerequisites

In order for your work to be routed for peer review, the following must be completed:

  • Complete the prior course (i.e. you can not submit your special field prior to submitting your general, but it is okay if your general field is undergoing a review)
  • Complete the Admin Update prompts (you shouldn’t submit your milestone before the relevant update requirements)
  • Follow the requirements of the relevant work (Literature Review genre. See also Academic Phrasebook.)
  • We rely on students following the Rubrics for each milestone prior to submitting a work for peer or advisor review. We also have an additional checklist that includes the most common feedback we provide students after the submit their milestone.
  • Complete at least one peer review of someone else’s work (note that if you have not been assigned one at all, you will not be penalized, but if you have declined or not completed a peer review that was assigned, you will be asked to complete one prior to your work being routed for peer review)
INFORMATIONAL: How and When to Duplicate your Previous Milestone in CGScholar

Each exam-dissertation seminar includes at least one peer-reviewed project that is meant to help build towards your final thesis. To help you do this, there is a Duplicate feature in CGScholar Creator.

From the last saved version of your General Literature Review, Special Literature Review, Chapter 3 Part 1 (Theory), Chapter 3 Part 2 (Methodology Design), Chapter 3 Part 3 (Methodology Implementation), Preliminary Exam, and Final Dissertation, you should use the Duplicate feature to copy everything from your existing work automatically. Do not re-type everything. 

  1. Select About this Work – Versions – Select the most recent version (except “Current” can not be selected)
  2. Ensure that this is the version that you want copied – if you want the “current” version duplicated, you must first save it as a new version (hover over the save button and check the box and then click Save), then navigate to that version within the Versions tab
  3. Select the Duplicate icon. 
  4. Rename your work (work type, brief title) and re-add your work icon.
  5. Then add new sections to fulfill the next set of requirements.

Important! Don’t duplicate too early before you have revised your previous work, to avoid risking your “latest” work being inconsistent with what it really should be.

3. ACTION ITEM: Draft your Milestone in Word and CGScholar

You can choose where you initially draft your milestones, but each milestone must eventually be entered into CGSCholar and created in Word prior to peer review.

Work Requests

Note: You will not receive a CGScholar work request until you submit your EDS Progress Report (see upcoming section).

Work Creation Steps

Note that the instructions differ slightly between your General Field and all other works that you’ll submit.

MilestoneCGScholar Work Creation TaskWork Submission Task
General FieldStart a New Work before or after receiving a work request (which comes after submitting your EDS Progress Report)Respond to the Work Request notification. You will have two options:

Option 1: Choose to Start a new work if you have not yet drafted anything directly in CGScholar

Option 2: Link to an existing work if the work already exists
Special Field, Theory and Methodology (Parts 1, 2, and 3), Preliminary Exam manuscript, Final Dissertation manuscriptEnsure that you have applied all previously-received feedback and have updated your Note To Reviewers and Change Notes prior to duplicating your work. If you are still waiting on a layer of feedback, please indicate that so that it is clear that it has not been completely revised yet.

If you duplicate your work too early, you risk having to re-do things in two places.

Once ready to submit your next milestone, Submit your EDS Progress Report and Duplicate the most recent version of your previous work.
Choose only Option 2: Link to an existing work

Ensure that you have already duplicated your existing milestone – as a reminder, you always want your latest submission to include a cumulative version of your most up-to-date work.

Ready to Submit your Milestone for Initial Pre-Peer Review

Ensure that all previous action items and basic requirements have been addressed

4. ACTION ITEM: Complete the EDS Progress Report and Indicate your Intent to Submit your Milestone

The EDS Progress Report is an online form to help us stay in communication with every student at least once per term (twice per semester; six times per year). You should have created an initial EDS Progress Report when you began the EDS.

  • Once you are ready for your full milestone to be submitted for peer review, be sure to update the EDS Progress Report and indicate which milestone is ready, include the details regarding the milestone, such as your tentative research question, general and/or special field, links to your update samples in the community, etc. and then check the box to notify the advisor.
  • The advisor will then invite you to the relevant project in CGScholar. See above for the instructions on how to connect an existing work to a work request.
5. ACTION ITEM: Receive a Work Request

You will receive a work request after you have submitted your EDS Progress Report and the admin sets up your project in Scholar. Please allow a couple of days for your request to be processed. You may continue working in the most current version of your work. Your work should be duplicated just before your work is ready to be submitted for peer review.

The work request will prompt you to start a new work or to choose an existing work.

  • Do not start a new work for subsequent milestones or to connect a work that you have already started.
  • Subsequent milestones should follow the “duplicate a versionprocess and should be the most up-to-date version of your cumulative work.
  • Choose an existing work does not mean to choose a work that you have already routed for peer review. This should refer to the work that you duplicated in the previous steps.
6. ACTION ITEM: Submit Milestone for Pre- Peer Review


  • Be sure to check your work against the relevant rubric to make sure that it meets our minimum requirements.
  • As stated in a previous section, you will receive a work request from CGScholar prompting you to create or connect your work to the project.
  • Do not start a new work for subsequent milestones, as those should follow the “duplicate a versionprocess mentioned above.

Submission Steps:

  1. Submit the milestone in Scholar with the Word document attached once ready for pre-peer review
  2. Input a note into the dialogue
  3. Complete a Self-Review

Once you have submitted your work for any step in the review and revision process, you may begin on the next milestone, understanding that you will be returning to the pervious milestone after each review cycle. You may continue adding content to the current milestone, just include a note somewhere that indicates what is considered as “in progress”. Do not duplicate anything in CGScholar until you receive the Work Request for the subsequent milestone.

Reviews and Revisions: From Draft to Examination and Deposit

Once you have submitted your work for peer review, the review and revision process will begin.

Informational Items

This item is placed here as it applies to all of the Review stages.

Recurring Items

At each stage in this process, there will be requests for revisions – some will be major while others will be minor. Rely on the comments in the rubric and/or dialogue to determine your next steps.

The following applies to all stages of this process, but will only be stated here (once).

  1. ?After the initial submission, author receives a notification asking for a revised version
  2. View the rubric review from the peer and/or instructor and/or the dialogue for comments
  3. Revise the CGScholar version
  4. Add Change Notes – be specific, including what you changed or didn’t change and wny
  5. Depending how the Word version is being maintained, optionally preview in browser and copy and paste to Word; update the filename to reflect the correct revision date
  6. Attach updated Word version (remove the old one from the latest version)
  7. Make sure that your work is saved as a new version (small check box that appears when you hover over the save button, then click save). You will see a version number and a date to reflect what has been saved. The “current” version implies that it is in progress, so you should never submit a “current” version except the very first submission.
  8. Submit new version

Depending on the quality of the resubmission, the review and revision process may repeat multiple times. The due date of a particular step will not change, but can be ignored (but CGScholar may send you a notification that something is overdue). Each student is responsible for establishing their own timeline goals.

Review Stages

1. Pre-Peer Review by Dissertation Advisor

The dissertation advisor will conduct a preliminary, high level review prior to peer review. The purpose of this review step is to ensure that peer reviewers can focus their time on more important review elements. The review will include the following:

  • Rubric ratings and comments
  • Tracked changes Word attachment, partially reviewed; looking for patterns
  • Marked as a new version, differentiating it from the version originally submitted

Revision Request or Routed for Peer Review

  • If the submission does not meet minimum requirements or has a large volume of issues, it will be sent back prior to being routed for peer review. CGScholar will trigger a notification asking you to submit revisions.
  • If it is eligible for peer review, peer reviewers will receive a notification from CGScholar with a deadline of about 6 days, but we understand if reviewers need 2 weeks.

Note that even if routed for peer review, there may be feedback that authors need to consider in their next submission. Refer to the dialogue and/or rubric comments.

2. Work Routed for Peer Review – Continue onto the Next Milestone

While the current milestone is undergoing the peer review and subsequent review processes, the author continues working in the current work to populate their next milestone (ie. Special Field) if ready to add to CGScholar. These edits are not visible to peer reviewers, but will minimize rework of maintaining simultaneous CGScholar versions [include in change notes that this part of the work/ this milestone is still a draft].

Do not duplicate your work yet. Refer to the instructions at the end of this list regarding how to duplicate a work.

3. Revise and Submit your Milestone Revision after Peer Review for Dissertation Advisor Review
  1. You will receive a revision request email notification – however, it is possible you will have not yet received all peer reviews
    1. Do not submit your revised work until you have received your peer reviews.
    2. It is possible you were only assigned two peer reviews
    3. If you have not received your three peer reviews within 10 days, contact the dissertation advisor.
  2. Revise the milestone in the light of peer feedback.
  3. Update the Change Notes, be specific; what did you change or not change and why?
  4. When ready for post peer review, update the CGScholar version and attach the updated Word document (update the version date in the filename before uploading) in the first element.
    1. Optionally, select Preview > View in Browser. Select all, copy and paste into a Word file and attach that.
    2. While Word documents that follow the Graduate College guidelines are encouraged from the beginning, they are not required until you arrive at Chapter 3.
  5. Submit the revision in CGScholar
  6. Complete a Self-Review

Once reviewed, you will receive a notification from the system informing you that the work can advance to faculty review or requires minor or major revisions.

4. Submit your Milestone Revision for Faculty Advisor Review

Similar to the previous steps, you will receive a revision request. This will be true whether there are major or minor edits needed. Refer to the dialogue whether or not the work has been advanced to Faculty Review.

  1. Author receives a notification asking for a revised version
  2. View the rubric review from the instructor and/or the dialogue for comments
  3. Revise the CGScholar version
  4. Add Change Notes
  5. Depending how the Word version is being maintained, optionally preview in browser and copy and paste to Word; update the filename to reflect the correct revision date
  6. Attach updated Word version (remove the old one from the latest version)
  7. Submit new version
  8. Optionally, add a note in the dialogue
  9. Optionally, complete another self-review
5. Submit your Milestone for Committee Examination

The official committee examination process does not take place within CGSCholar.

General and Special Field Examination: Once approved to proceed to examination, complete the exam request form to officially submit your work for committee examination. After you fill out the form, you’ll receive an email in a day or two with a prompt to upload the Word version of your work. Make sure that this is a clean version free of all comments, change notes, etc. (filename should include your name, a brief descriptive title, the work type, and the latest revision date) The committee review may take up to eight weeks based on your committee’s availability. You can continue working on the next milestone in the process while you wait for committee review.

Preliminary and Final Examinations: Refer to their respective pages for specific instructions.

Final Dissertation and Deposit Review

Final Dissertation Deposit

Your final dissertation must be submitted as a Word/PDF document. In addition to the stages referred to above, the Final Dissertation has some additional steps. Once each step is approved, advance yourself to the next one

  1. Upload your final dissertation Word document to CGSCholar for your official faculty advisor’s review
  2. Send your approved (by your faculty advisor) PDF to Grad Services for the departmental Review (via email)
  3. Upload your approved (by the College of Education department reviewer) PDF to the Thesis Deposit submission form for Graduate College review
  4. Upload your final PDF dissertation (approved by the Graduate College) and final defense PPT to your CGScholar project

Peer Review Philosophy and Logistics

Peer Review Philosophy

There will be many informal opportunities for peer interaction in the exam-dissertation sequence, in the form of online community discussions, the student-led online community and the weekly synchronous group advising sessions. We also encourage peer-initiated connections, such as through establishing writing groups or attending virtual or in-person meet-ups.

However, perhaps the most important aspect of the course sequence is the formal peer review process. The peer review process is intended to be a learning and assessment exercise that will strengthen your own work in addition to providing feedback to your peers. Our approach is both traditional and innovative.

For some centuries now, peer review has been the formal process for evaluating and validating scholarly knowledge. This is the basis of scholarly journal and book publishing. Today is also a time of great innovation, spurred by developments in digital media and publishing technologies. For more about our thinking in this area, see Cope, B. & Phillips, A. (eds) (2014). The future of the academic journal, Elsevier.

Participating in the Peer Review Process

There may be occasions where a submission aligns with the research interests or knowledge/experience of another student who has not arrived at the same stage in their doctoral journey. We may reach out to you and/or assign you a peer review for a specific work prior to you arriving at that milestone. It is not necessary that you have begun or enrolled in the exam-dissertation sequence/courses to begin the peer review process. Here are some reasons to join early:

* Connect with others who have similar or complementary research interests.
* Help you define or refine your research interests.
* Become familiar with the exam-dissertation process and deliverables.
* Guide you in your elective course selections.
* Learn new content, best practices, and how to critically analyze others’ works.
* Enhance your deliverables associated with your regular LDL courses and the exam-dissertation courses, no matter where you might be in your own journey.

Peer Review Assignment Methodology

Everyone will be assigned two or three peer reviews per project. Sometimes, the work you are reviewing may be somewhat off topic because another person needs a review and your in queue to be assigned a review, but that is not always a bad thing.

* We expect students to complete at least one peer review prior to completing their own project.
* You are assigned peer reviews to works at all stages in the process. So you may not have completed that specific work yourself yet or you maybe completed it many months ago.

Peer Review Assignment Methodology
Ideally, we will try to arrange two to three reviews for you based on the following criteria, though it may not always work out this neatly!
* At least one reviewer may be someone earlier in the process
* At least one reviewer may be further along in the process
* At least one reviewer may be in a similar stage as you
* At least one reviewer has a similar interest, research topic, or background experience (we do the best we can on this one)

Peer Review Deadlines

We ask for timeliness in completing reviews in order for authors to be able to continue progressing to the next step. We typically set the deadline to be 6 to 10 days, but if you need 14 days, just let us know. CGScholar will show the deadline as about 6 days, and authors will receive a “revision request” at that time, but we ask authors to wait the 14 days (or until all three reviews have come in. If all three have not come in by the 14 days, check with the TA so that we can follow up with your reviewers again to confirm if/when they plan to complete the requirement)

A meaningful peer review should take two to three hours to complete. Refer to the rubric and the guidelines for each milestone when completing the review. A helpful review will speed up the subsequent review and revision processes for the author – so be as honest as possible.

Authors should not submit their revised work until they receive their peer reviews. And authors should carefully consider the peer review feedback and how to apply it.

IRB Review Process


You shouldn’t start the IRB process too early, but you also shouldn’t let it get away from you. You would typically start this process when you are working on your methodology. And you should expect to have an approved IRB letter prior to your preliminary exam. But keep in mind that the IRB approval process takes time. Refer to the IRB process page for more details.

You submit your IRB paperwork first to your faculty advisor, who is your principal investigator, for signature. Once signed, send them to the IRB office.

You may need to submit an amendment after your methodology plan is reviewed by your advisor and/or after your preliminary exam.

Key Resources