April 1st, 2009

The Intricate Dance of Peer Review

As a learner, your main concern is often simply “is this peer reviewed or not.” But there’s a lot more to it than that.brain

Despite being considered the “gold standard” of academic publishing, peer review is a complicated, sometimes messy, process that comes with its own sets of frustrations and drawbacks. Getting scholars all on the same page can be a bit like, well, herding cats.

For the basics on peer review, see our guide, How Do I Find Peer Reviewed Articles, or view our tutorial, What are Peer-reviewed Articles & How do I Find Them?

For a deeper understanding of what peer review can mean within a discipline, you can start with this short interview with researcher Michele Lamont from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Although she doesn’t speak to the specific programs we have at Capella, you can gain some understanding about how the nature of the discipline can affect the peer-review process. When peer review is supposed to identify what is good scholarship, the definition of “good” becomes very important. Do you know what “good” looks like in your field? Do you agree with the definition used in your discipline?

- Erin

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