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FAQs for Reviewers

Here are some frequently asked questions we've heard from reviewers. Let us know if you have a question we haven't answered!

Who can see my review comments?

REB reviewers can see all comments that are made on the file. However, Operational Reviewers (Directors, Managers, etc. with responsibility for the department(s) that may be affected by the conduct of the research) can only see the Operational Reviewer comments. Research Ethics office staff can see all comments.

I clicked on 'Submit' before I was finished....now what do I do?

You can still access the review that was in progress. You can open it by clicking on the link "Applications Requiring Your Review as a Reviewer - In Progress."  Remember, please click save often in order to not lose your work. If you unsure of how to open your review again, please do not hesitate to contact the office at researchethics@viha.ca or 250-519-6726.

How can I tell who is Primary Reviewer and who is Secondary Reviewer for full board reviews?

These are two roles that are defined to aid the flow of information for a full board REB review.  If you are assigned to be the Primary or Secondary reviewer, you will be notified of this in an email from the office with confirmation of which research project this pertains to in the Portal.  The Research Ethics office will designate you as one of these roles in the "Review" text box.  Under the 'Committee Review' tab within the Portal the Comments will be listed in the order in which they were received, and will be identified as belonging to the Primary or Secondary reviewer before the comment text. 

What is an 'audit trail'?

In the Portal, the audit trail is the record of changes to a file, by whom, and when.  Under the "Logs" tab in a specific project within the Portal, you can check out the progress of the file through the workflow log from submission to approval.  Reviewers may be more interested in the Project Log as this shows any changes made to the file, by whom, and when.

Am I locked out of the file?

If the 'Review' or 'Submit' buttons are not visible, then that means that the Research Ethics office or Researchers are working on the file.  Please make sure you save your review outside of the Portal (e.g. in a Word document or by email) and notify us that you were unable to 'Review' or 'Submit'.  We will then ensure that it is submitted on your behalf when the file is available.

Does access to the Portal 'time out'?

Yes.  The session time out for inactivity (not having clicked on 'Save' recently) is 2 hours.  However, if there is ever a weak internet connection you could have your session ended inadvertently. We have addressed this with the software provider and our best advice is to ensure you click Save frequently.  Another option is to record your review comments in a Word document and then copy and paste when finished into the Review comment box.