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AS 4106 - Principles of Animal Nutrition

Checklist for scientific/peer-reviewed article

  1. Did the author(s) of the article do the actual research?
  2. Can you find a statement about when the article was accepted for publication?
  3. Is there a sizable list of references?
  4. Do the authors assume you are familiar with their topic?
  5. Is it challenging to read?

If you have answered "yes" to these five questions you have probably located a scientific article.

Characteristics of a scientific/peer-reviewed article

Your professor expects you to use the scientific or peer-reviewed journal literature to support the ideas presented in your seminar.  Here's a quick overview of how to identify these journal articles.

  • written by the scientist(s) who actually did the research
  • follows a specific format with abstract, introduction, materials & methods, results, conclusions and references 
  • contain language that assumes reader has a background in the discipline covered
  • published articles which have been evaluated by experts (peer-reviewed) (Tip:  Look for a statement about when the article was accepted for publication. Most peer-reviewed articles will include one.)
  • may include review articles**, overviews of current and past research, usually an excellent introduction to your topic

If the article is NOT written by the person or group who did the research, it is NOT a peer-reviewed or scientific article.  Don't be misled by journal titles like Scientific American or Bioscience.  They are great magazines but they don't publish original research.