[FUN_Mail] Journal article peer review

MARY E. MORRISON Morrison at lycoming.edu
Thu Mar 26 18:24:39 EDT 2020

Hi all,

I go over this article about reading a research paper with my students before asking them to read real primary literature:

Gillen CM (2006) Criticism and interpretation:  Teaching the persuasive aspects of research articles.  CBE-Life Science Education 5:34-38.

I also give them several passes at the first article or two that we discuss.  
In the first pass, I ask them to read through the article and just identify any terms or experimental procedures they're not yet familiar with.  This is done as individuals.  We go over those issues together in class.  

Then in the second pass, I ask them to mark up each data figure with the question or hypothesis being tested, identify the controls, think about whether all relevant controls were included, and prepare to discuss the data.  This is really difficult for them at first, and they often need help learning to bounce back and forth between data and Methods.  I have them do this part in small groups.  

Then I give them a third time through the article to read it "for real" and apply the higher levels of critical analysis discussed in the Gillen article.  I ask them to develop word or diagrammatic models of the experiments as groups too, and then the groups share and discuss their models and modify them if needed.  I gauge whether we need multiple passes at the next paper based on how well they do with the first one, and adjust accordingly.

I do not score them on the first article at all.  I do score them on later articles, based on three criteria:  showing up with the article appropriately marked up, understanding of the article, and level of participation in their group's discussion.  I reward engagement and process; I don't focus on small details of the actual experiments.  I do have some questions on exams about the papers though, so they are ultimately responsible for some content.

My goals are to make the students unafraid to engage primary literature, and to empower them to think on their own beyond what any author says.

Best regards, and stay well out there,
Mary Morrison
Lycoming College

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   1. Journal Article Peer Review Rubric for Students? (Marc Nahmani)


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Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2020 19:56:13 +0000
From: Marc Nahmani <mnahmani at uw.edu>
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Subject: [FUN_Mail] Journal Article Peer Review Rubric for Students?
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Hi All,

In moving my Neuro course online, I am creating a 'peer review' assignment where students review/critically analyze a neuroscience preprint (e.g. BioRxiv, MedRxiv).

Does anyone have a rubric for journal article peer review I could use/alter to guide students in peer review of a manuscript?

Thank you in advance - stay safe out there!



[NahmaniLab Crest]

Marc Nahmani, Ph.D.

(him, his pronouns)

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology

Division of Sciences and Mathematics

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

University of Washington | Tacoma

1900 Commerce St.

Tacoma, WA 98402-3100

253-692-4463 (office)
253-692-5718 (fax)

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