PSY9311 – Peer reviewing and open science best practices: case affective neuroscience

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This module covers the peer review process and current best practices in psychology and neuroscience, such as preregistration, registered reports and other open science practices. The literature basis of the course is selected from covers topics that are currently debated in Affective Neuroscience, e.g.

  • Does social pain really hurt?
  • What is the role of dopamine for reward?
  • Is there a placebo prone personality?
  • Are there reliable effects of intranasal oxytocin on human social cognition?
  • Can neuroimaging provide an objective measure of pain?

In lectures, professors and students will discuss strengths and flaws of affective neuroscience papers and approaches.

In seminars, students will practise i) critical reading of the literature, ii) writing peer reviews; iii) responding to peer reviews and improving manuscripts.

Learning outcome

The students will learn to

  • Conduct and respond to formal peer reviews
  • Choose and evaluate open science best practices such as preregistration, open code and data, registered reports, and evaluating effect sizes
  • Evaluate the explanatory value and limitations of a broad range of cognitive neuroscience approaches, such as fMRI, psychopharmacology and behavioural tasks in non-human and human populations


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


5 lectures á 2h, 5 seminars á 2h.


Five mandatory ungraded assignments (peer reviewing practice)

Home exam in which a manuscript is critically reviewed (graded).

Examination support material

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.

The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language