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All About Peer Review

The Peer Review Process

So you need to use scholarly, peer-reviewed articles for an assignment...what does that mean? 

Peer review is a process for evaluating research studies before they are published by an academic journal. These studies typically communicate original research or analysis for other researchers. 

The Peer Review Process at a Glance:

1. Researchers conduct a study and write a draft. 2. Researchers submit a draft to a journal.3. Journal editor considers and sends to reviewers. 4. Reviewers provide feedback and ask questions. 5. Researchers receive feedback, revise or respond.6. Journal rejects, accepts, or accepts with revisions.

Looking for peer-reviewed articles? Try searching in OneSearch or a library database and look for options to limit your results to scholarly/peer-reviewed or academic journals.

Part 1: Watch the video All About Peer Review (3 min.) and reflect on discussion questions.

Discussion Questions & Quiz

After watching the video, reflect on the following questions:

  • According to the video, what are some of the pros and cons of the peer review process?
  • Why is the peer review process important to scholarship?
  • Do you think peer reviewers should be paid for their work? Why or why not?

Use the quiz below to receive a certificate of completion with your responses to submit to your instructor in Blackboard.

Start Quiz

Part 2: Take an interactive tutorial on reading a research article for your major.

Includes a certification of completion to download and upload to Blackboard. 

Speech bubbles over network pattern.
Social Sciences

(e.g. Psychology, Sociology)

Start Tutorial
Test tubes and line graph.

(e.g. Health Science, Biology)

Start Tutorial
Book and paint pallet.
Arts & Humanities

(e.g. Visual & Media Arts, Cultural Studies, Literature, History)

Start Tutorial


Click on each handout to view, download, or print.
CSUDH Library handout Is it a scholarly, peer-reviewed article?

For Instructors

In class or for homework, watch the video “All About Peer Review” (3 min.).

Video discussion questions:

  • According to the video, what are some of the pros and cons of the peer review process
  • Why is the peer review process important to scholarship?
  • Do you think peer reviewers should be paid for their work? Why or why not?

Teaching online or don’t have time in-class?

Assign the All About Peer Review quiz:

Students can upload a certificate of completion to Blackboard that includes their responses to the video discussion questions.

  • Ask students to conduct their own peer review of an important journal article in your field. Ask them to reflect on the process. What was hard to critique?
  • Have students examine a journals’ web page with information for authors. What information is given to the author about the peer review process for this journal?
  • Assign this reading by CSUDH faculty member Terry McGlynn, "Should journals pay for manuscript reviews?" What is the author's argument? Who profits the most from published research? You could also hold a debate with one side for paying reviewers and the other side against.
  • Search a database like Cabell’s for information on the journal submission process for a particular title or subject. How long does peer review take for a particular title? Is it is a blind review? How many reviewers are solicited? What is their acceptance rate?
  • Assign short readings that address peer review models. We recommend this issue of Nature on peer review debate and open review and this Chronicle of Higher Education article on open review in Shakespeare Quarterly.

Mix and match this suite of instructional materials for your course needs!

If you are assigning the All About Peer Review quiz and/or one of the Reading a Research Article tutorials, students can receive a certificate of completion with their name and date and upload the PDF to Blackboard to show that they've learned by completing these online activities. We recommend assigning activities for participation points.

Questions about integrating a graded online component into your class, contact the Online Learning Librarian, Tessa Withorn (

Example of a certificate of completion:

Sample certificate of completion for a CSUDH Library tutorial.

Download "For Instructors: Teaching Peer Review at CSUDH"

Creative Commons License CC by NC 4.0 This guide was created by Tessa Withorn, Carolyn Caffrey, and Dana Ospina at the CSUDH Library and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.