Literature Review


  • To provide feedback on the different criteria use the sliding bar to indicate where the student fits best. Note that the position of the scalebar does not reflect a linear scale from 0-10 points. 
  • The descriptions of performance levels are only indicative of what is expected and additional comments in the open remarks space 'Feedback/feedforward' may be necessary to fine-tune, add criteria, or specify feedback. The space 'Additional Criteria, Feedback, and Comments' at the bottom of the Rubric can also be used for this purpose. 
  • A written narrative accompanying the rubric should be filled in under 'Additional Criteria, Feedback, and Comments'. This field is obligatory. 
  •  If a criterium is not applicable, you can use the eye icon on the right to grey-out the criterium. 
  • To save this rubric use the 'Download rubric' button to turn it into a pdf document. Examiner must upload it at the right step in OSIRIS Case.
  • An instruction video on how you can make the best use of the rubrics can be found here
  • Name student
  • Research group
  • Select Master's programme
    • Biofabrication
    • Bioinformatics and Biocomplexity
    • Bio Inspired Innovation
    • Biology of Disease
    • Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology
    • Cardiovascular Health and Disease
    • Drug Innovation 
    • Environmental Biology
    • Epidemiology
    • Epidemiology Postgraduate
    • Health and Environment
    • Infection and Immunity
    • Medical Imaging
    • Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences
    • Neuroscience and Cognition
    • One Health
    • Regenerative Medicine and Technology
    • Science and Business Management
    • Toxicology and Environmental Health
  • Student number
  • Rubric filled in by
    • Examiner
    • Second reviewer
    • Supervisor host institute 
    • Daily supervisor
    • Student

Preconditions for literature review to be eligible for assessment

  • This assignment has a single author (the student) 
  • The assignment contains a plain language (Layman's) summary
  • The assignment is free of plagiarism and has been checked with Ouriginal
  • If Generative AI has been used this is done with proper citation and according to the School's guidelines
  • The rubrics are discussed between the examiner and daily supervisor (if not the same person)
  • The rubrics are (orally) discussed with the student to provide extra feedback
Sufficient - Good
Good - Excellent
Content: Insufficient
Content: Sufficient - Good
Content: Good - Excellent
Content: Feedback / feedforward

• Does not justify the content

• Represents the content

• Concise and attracts attention

Layman's summary

• Misrepresents the content

• Represents most highlights

• Represents main information and all highlights

• Unattractive, too technical or too simple

• Understandable for the interested layman

• Interesting to read and easy to understand


• Misrepresents the content

• Represents most highlights

• Represents main information and all highlights

• Lacks components

• Contains all components

• Concise and correct

• Is hard to understand

• Can be understood without additional information

Introduction, relevance research question

• Research question absent or lacking focus

• Research question well defined and focussed

• Substantiated research question with clear focus

• Relevance (scientific and/or societal) of research question unclear                                                 

• Relevance (scientific and/or societal) of research question clarified

• Research question has the potential to contribute useful new knowledge to the scientific field or society

Relevant literature/data analysis

• Incomplete or incorrect overview of data or retrieved literature

• Satisfactory overview of data or retrieved literature

• Complete overview of data or retrieved literature, key references included

• Analysis/interpretation of data or retrieved literature is not correct

• Analysis/interpretation of data or retrieved literature is correct   

• Analysis/interpretation of data or retrieved literature is convincing and creative

• Search strategy is badly motivated, inappropriate, confusing or unsystematic

• Search strategy is correct

• Search strategy clearly outlined and optimally suited to answer research question

Discussion and conclusion – presentation of new models or hypotheses, depth and critical analysis

• Does not get back to the research question

• Answers or discusses the research question

• Concisely answers and/or discusses the research question 

• Data inadequately discussed, sticking rigidly to existing concepts or using invalid arguments

• Relation between data and research question discussed using valid arguments

• Concise, sensible and in depth discussion of data in relation to research question

• Discussion fails to address strengths and weaknesses of study

• Strengths, limitations, and new insights are addressed in the light of the literature

• Complete, critical, and balanced discussion of strengths, limitations, and new insights

• Text cannot be understood without information provided by figures and tables

• Text can be understood without information provided by figures and tables 

•  Text can be easily understood without information provided by figures and tables

• Conclusion is weak or not supported by evidence

• Conclusion is in line with presented evidence

• Strongly supported conclusion following a critical discussion

• New models, hypotheses or suggestions for additional research are missing or illogical

• New models, hypotheses and/or possible future steps are presented

• New models, hypotheses and/or possible future steps are discussed in depth

• Societal impact is not part of the discussion

• Societal impact is part of the discussion

• Societal impact is explained in a convincing way

Tables and figures

• Absent/incorrect referral in written text

• Correctly referred to in written text

• Cannot be understood without the main text

• Can be understood without additional information

• Are irrelevant and/or do not support text

• Are relevant and support text

• Provide an excellent addition to the text

• Uses existing figures without correct citation

• Uses existing figures (or slight adaptations) with proper citation

• Designs own figure(s) combining key information from different sources

• Legends provide insufficient information

• Legends contain the necessary information

• Legends are complete and concise

Structure and Style
Structure and style: Insufficient
Structure and style: Sufficient - Good
Structure and style: Good - Excellent
Structure and style: Feedback/feedforward
Structure and line of reasoning

• The line of thought is unclear

• Line of thought mostly clear

• The line of thought is easy to follow and supported by the structure

• Text is badly structured

• Text is well structured

• Structure supports legibility of text

Writing skills

• Disturbing spelling or grammar mistakes

• No errors present detected by spellcheckers

• Grammar and style support legibility of the document

• Information frequently and disturbingly repeated

• Information sometimes unnecessarily repeated

• Information only repeated when necessary

• Style too wordy or too concise

• Grammar and style enable understanding of the information

• Writing flows smoothly

• Referral is inconsistent, incomplete, or incorrect; references cannot be retrieved*

• Referral is consistent, complete, and correct; references can be traced

Professional Attitude
Sufficient - Good
Good - Excellent
Professional attitude: Feedback/feedforward
Initiative, independence, handling feedback

• Relies on supervisor's instructions only to handle content; depth is lacking

• Takes initiative (initially) after stimulation; part of ideas/content conceived independently

• Takes initiative; content (including finding references) is provided independently

• Does not request feedback

• Requests general feedback

• Takes initiative to request feedback for specific sections

• Responds defensively or ignores feedback; minimal improvements after feedback

• Responds well to feedback leading to reasonable improvements

• Takes feedback seriously yielding excellent improvements

Critical attitude

• Critical attitude is absent, asks no questions

• Shows self-reflection and has critical attitude towards (published) research

• Critical attitude is based on intellectual depth and profundity

Integrity, conscientiousness

• Data manipulated or left out*

 • Data used in a reliable and trustworthy manner


• Does not meet deadlines

• Meets most deadlines

• Sets own deadlines and adheres to them

• Does not keep appointments

• Keeps appointments

• Schedules appointments when necessary

Additional Criteria, Feedback, and Comments**

* In case of fraud or plagiarism, the examiner will inform the Board of Examiners of this in writing
** Obligatory: please provide a written narrative to accompany the rubrics

  1. Name supervisor/examiner
  2. Current date