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HLTH 101 Online Module: Scholarly Journals: 2. Peer Review

Why is peer review so important?

Before any scholarly article is published, it must meet the high standards of peer review.  Watch this video (3:15 min) to learn about the steps in the peer review process.

Typical steps in the peer review process of an academic journal include:

  1. Author submits a draft manuscript to the journal.
  2. Journal editor reviews the submission to determine if the article fits into the journal's mandate.
  3. If suitable, the manuscript is forwarded to a team of reviewers who critique the paper.
  4. If accepted, the author may be asked to make revisions before the article is published
  5. Final version is published in the journal.

This process can take several months to complete before an article is ready for publication. 

How can you tell a journal is peer reviewed?

You will be required to use articles from peer reviewed journals for your assignment.  The following tools will help you determine if the journal in which the article is published is 'peer reviewed'.

  1. Academic research database:  Begin your search for articles within an academic research database which indexes peer reviewed journals.  A list of databases in your program can be found on the Research Guide for Public Health and Kinesiology.
  2. Journal's webpage:  A journal's website includes information about the peer review process.  Look in the section for Instructions for Authors or Editorial process.  This should outline the article manuscipt submission process and indicate if it uses a peer review process.
  3. Ulrich's Serial Directory  The Ulrich's Serial Directory will indicate if a journal uses peer review, in addition to lots of other information about the journal.


ACTIVITY: Is an article peer reviewed?

The following two articles discuss the use of sports drinks and potential alternatives.  Using the steps listed above, determine if the article is published in a peer reviewed journal. 


Milk: the new sports drink? A Review   vs  Are Sports Drinks Better or Worse Than Water?


Let's poll the class findings...

 Select the article which you think is suitable for a class assignment requiring peer reviewed articles as a source of information.

ACTIVITY: Is an article peer reviewed?
Milk: the new sports drink? A Review: 735 votes (75.15%)
Are Sports Drinks Better or Worse Than Water?: 243 votes (24.85%)
Total Votes: 978