Last Updated S022020

DEng 804


Unit Name Doctoral Dissertation Research Paper 2


Unit Code DENG804
Unit Duration 24 week

Doctor of Engineering

Duration 3 years   

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Martin Murray
Core/Sub-Discipline: Core
Pre/Co-requisites Successful completion of DEng802 
Credit Points


Total Program Credit Points 120

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

20 hours per fortnight:

Supervisor/advisor consultations – 2 hours

Assessments / Practical / Lab - 2 hours (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 16 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

Publication of one’s work in international, highly esteemed, peer reviewed journals such as Nature, Scientific American, and corresponding journals focussed on engineering, is seen to be vitally important by career researchers. Indeed, to have one’s work accepted by high profile peer reviewers is acknowledgement of the value and significance of that work. But international peer review is of equal importance in assuring the engineering community of the quality of that work and the confidence that the community can have in adopting the findings from that work.

There is a progression of development of the candidate’s communication and information literacy skills in this degree, from DEng603 to DEng700 to DEng802 to the present unit DEng804, with the whole culminating in the capstone doctoral dissertation unit DEng900. The present unit therefore provides a vital link in this development.

The key focus of this unit is the preparation by the candidate, as first author, of a paper considered at an acceptable level for submission to a suitable internationally recognised peer reviewed journal with at least a moderate impact factor. Submission of the paper would be encouraged; however, publication is optional due to the time constraints of review and publication.

The unit explores many of the issues of journal publishing, such as journal selection and the role of impact factors, structuring and writing a paper suitable for journals, and the sometimes difficult process of responding to the detailed feedback from multiple reviewers of high standing internationally.

There is some time spent also on the process of converting a conference paper into a journal or peer-reviewed paper, with the intention that the work conducted in DEng700 (Industry Project) and the conference paper prepared in DEng802 (Dissertation Paper 1) in preparation for DEng 900 (Doctoral Dissertation) will be the foundation for the journal paper. To that end, the unit allows some weeks to be devoted to the candidate conducting literature searches that will be needed to update and extend the literature to be drawn upon in the journal paper.

The journal paper using the same dissertation topic will be required to be of a standard that will meet the rigorous standards required by journal publishers and applied by their panels of reviewers. Factors such as originality and significance of the work, independence of argument, completeness of the paper, length, clarity, contribution, relevance of outcomes and reasoning, quality of writing, and likely level of readership interest will be of vital importance in the assessment tasks in this unit. Completion of research Paper 2 can be done in conjunction with DEng900, should it facilitate the development of a comprehensive publication.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate and compile research outcomes, data, reports and dissertations into a publishable form.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Hypothesise and critique the process of journal paper review.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Devise and plan the process of submitting a journal paper, as first author.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Demonstrate comprehension of the importance and relevance of journal selection.

Bloom’s Level 3

Bloom’s Taxonomy

The cognitive domain levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Bloom's level Bloom's category  Description
1 Remember Retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory by recognising, identifying, recalling and retrieving.
2 Understand Construct meaning from instructional messages by interpreting, classifying, summarising, inferring, comparing, contrasting, mapping and explaining.
3 Apply  Carrying out or using a procedure in a given situation by executing, implementing, operating, developing, illustrating, practicing and demonstrating.
4 Analyse Deconstruct material and determine how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose by differentiating, organising and attributing.
5 Evaluate Make judgments based on criteria and standards by checking, coordinating, evaluating, recommending, validating, testing, critiquing and judging.
6 Create Put elements together to form a coherent pattern or functional whole by generating, hypothesising, designing, planning, producing and constructing.

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed (eg. After Topic 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Peer Review

Word length: 1000

Prepare a detailed review of a relevant, published scholarly journal paper according to typical methodologies required by journal publishers.
After topic 3  10% 2


Assessment 2

Type: Report

Word length: 1500

Select a suitable, widely published author and conduct an analysis and review of the level of impact of the author’s publications. Include an annotated bibliography of publications you will be including in your paper that have been identified in your work in this unit as suitable.
After topic 6 15% 1,4


Assessment 3

Type: Draft Presentation

Word length: 2500

You will conduct a presentation of your draft paper’s detailed structure and outcomes. You will submit that draft of your paper with at least 60% of the text completed, together with the completed and detailed heading structure, and a full reference list with all bibliographic details shown correctly.

20 mins presentation + Q&A, Feedback
After topic 9 20% 1,3


Assessment 4

Type: Final Paper

Word length: n/a

The completed, polished journal paper is to be submitted ready for assessment and submission to a journal. Assessment will include consideration of the degree of consultation with the supervisor throughout the operation of this unit.
Final Week 55% 3,4

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required Textbook

Cargill, M. and O’Connor, P. (2009) Writing scientific research articles: strategy and steps. Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK. ISBN: 978-1-4051-8619-3


Reference Materials

The required text book provides a number of important references in each chapter. These references and those provided by the instructor will form the basis of the reference materials. Additionally, a number of useful texts, peer-reviewed journals, and websites may be found online. Suitable information may also be found through the following resources:

Conference and journal paper rankings and impact factors


Formal review of technical papers



Software Reference Material

EndNoteTM software for constructing reference lists, bibliography (


Unit Content

Topic 1 


To focus attention on the role of journal articles

  1. Why write journal articles
  2. Converting conference papers to journal papers


Topic 2

Further Research

To enable the candidate to expand their literature research necessary for their journal article

  1. Conduct additional literature searches
  2. Identify, record and summarise key relevant publications


Topic 3

Peer Review

To give insight into the potentially harrowing process of journal review

  1. Purpose of rigorous peer review
  2. Journal paper review methodologies
  3. Responding to unfavourable reviewer feedback


Topic 4

Further Research

To enable the candidate to expand their literature research necessary for their journal article

  1. Conduct additional literature searches
  2. Identify, record and summarise key relevant publications


Topic 5

Impact of Paper

To identify methods of assessing impact and its effect on research opportunities

  1. Journal rankings and impact factors
  2. Purpose and types of impact factor assessment
  3. Impact methodologies
  4. Journal selection for publishing and career


Topics 6 

Further Research

To enable the candidate to expand their literature research necessary for their journal article

  1. Conduct additional literature searches
  2. Identify, record and summarise key relevant publications


Topic 7

Paper Structure

To highlight the rigorous expectations of journal publishers regarding structure and format of papers

  1. Writing for a journal audience
  2. Typical engineering journal paper structures
  3. Writing about results and methods


Topic 8

Lucid Discussions

To identify the purposes, logic and readability necessary in discussion sections of a paper

  1. The importance of the discussion sections
  2. Soundly reasoned outcomes
  3. Supporting claims


Topic 9

Introductions and Conclusions

To explore the importance of quality in the beginning and ending portions of a journal paper

  1. The differences between abstracts and introductions
  2. The role and critical importance of conclusions and abstracts

The reference list and appendices


Topic 10 and 11

Paper Finalisation

To provide opportunity for the journal paper to be finalised ready for submission

  1. Pulling the paper together
  2. Self-critical review and editing
  3. Proofing and polishing


Topic 12

Paper Submission

The final week of this unit is when the students will submit their final, polished paper ready for assessment and for submission for publication.



Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A
  • Version: N/A
  • Instructions: N/A 
  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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