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Biology 162 General Biology II Cells and Molecules

Use this guide for Bio 162 assignment.

Scholarly Article Activity Tutorial

Click the link below to begin the tutorial activity 

Peer-Review Process

What is a peer-reviewed article?

Peer review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in their journal.

Source: BioMedCentral. (n/a). Peer review process.

Peer-review process for publication in a journal:

Source: Scientific Forefront Journal. (n/a). Publication process.

Identifying Scholarly Articles - What to look for

Once you identify a great article, look for the following

  • An abstract at the beginning of the article -- summary of the researchers/authors argument, approach, and conclusion
  • Author(s) -- scholarly articles usually have two or more authors -- author credentials and affiliations are listed on the first page or last page of the article
  • Specialized Headings/Sections in the article -- include:
    • Introduction -- One to several paragraphs describing the subject content of the article. A literature review is usually included in this section
    • Methodology --  This section will provide information about what data was collected and who participated in the study
    • Results -- This section will provide information about the results of the study
    • Discussion - The purpose of the discussion is to interpret and describe the significance of the research study and provide any new insights from the research
    • Conclusion -- This section will provide the findings of the research and any recommendations and limitations of the study
    • References or bibliography -- an extensive list of references used in the research of the article is provided at the end of the article.

Note: The structure and format of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts (articles) are changing. You might find peer-reviewed articles without a separate literature review and conclusion sections. These sections will be part of the introduction and discussion sections. 

What is a Scholarly / Peer Reviewed Article?

Characteristics of scholarly or peer-reviewed articles:

  • Authors are experts in the subject field. They are authorities in that field of study. Authors are highly educated.
  • Articles go through a peer-review process. This is the process where the article is read by recognized researchers in the field and recommend the article for publication in the journal. They look for errors in the article/research.
  • Articles are usually reports on scholarly research or case studies.
  • Articles cite their sources at the end of the article in the Reference section. 
  • Published monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.
  • Journals are geared toward scholars, researchers, professionals, and college students.

Some examples of scholarly or peer-reviewed journals:     

  • Methods in Ecology & Evolution
  • PLoS Biology
  • JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association

WCC Research databases to consult (many of the WCC research databases include scholarly journals):  

Video How to Read a Scholarly Article

Dissection of the article

Source: Dissecting of the article.

Note: The background dissection of the article is from New Literacies Alliance.

Discoveries in Basic Science