View From the Top: An In-Depth Look at the Vetting Process

by Derek Masters, QUEUC Coordinator

You may wonder what happens to your papers once they have been submitted? Who does the selecting? How many hands will it pass through? What's the process like for reading over 200 papers? Derek, one of our head coordinators, is here to help...

The organizing committee of this year’s conference has taken a different approach to vetting than in previous years. This year's focus is to encourage a more thorough peer-review process, in order to ensure that the quality of papers presented at the conference reflects the quality of papers submitted.

One exciting change to the process comes in the form of vetting groups within the committee. Groups of three students will team up to review papers and share opinions on quality, content, and potential inclusion in the conference. This way there is discussion and debate over each and every paper.

This also provides a more collaborative environment for paper assessment, which in turn leads to a less biased selection of admitted work. Student vetting groups are comprised of senior students from a variety of academic disciplines. This year’s conference has made it a priority to accept a wider range of works from the Humanities, and this year’s vetting committee has been formed to reflect the submission diversity. The vetters’ background range from the classic QUEUC disciplines - English, History, Creative Writing - to the totally unexplored programs such as Philosophy and Biology. And we couldn't be more excited. 


Another main procedural change in this year’s vetting process is the inclusion of a system of 3 rounds of vetting. Round one will feature a quick overview of the paper’s main attributes (e.g. thesis, quality of writing, and conclusion), in order to determine the paper’s initial caliber.

The second round will be a more exhaustive assessment of the work, in which vetters will assign ‘grades’ to their assigned papers.

The third round will be a period of reconciliation between the various groups of vetters, in which the compare scores and create detailed rubrics. Here we will debate and discuss all the papers we have read. 


After round three, the papers are selected and sorted into panels, which is its own can of worms (and arguably the most fun part of the vetting process).

While ambitious, we hope this year’s changes will serve as good steps in improving the overall quality and efficiency of the conference. 

Thank you for all your submissions! We (the vetters) don't have an easy job ahead of us, which is a testament to the over quality of work we received this year. 

Ellen BlackComment