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Gerstein Science Information Centre

BIO120: Adaptation and Biodiversity

This guide will assist BIO120 students, as well as other biology students, when starting to look for and gather research for papers and assignments.

What is Peer Review?

Is this Article Peer Reviewed?

Evaluating Journal Articles

When deciding which articles to use to support ideas and arguments in your paper, keep these criteria in mind:


Is this article fact or opinion?

Are counter-arguments acknowledged?

Are the results accurate and are they supported by the data and methodology presented?

Does this support or contradict other articles?

Are references to other works given?


Is the author an expert in this field?

What other works has he/she written?

Can you find out more about the author?  What is his/her background?

Has this author been cited by others?


Some publications have an inherent bias that will impact articles printed in them. Can you determine this from looking at the journal?

Is the author's point of view impartial and objective? Are counter-arguments acknowledged?

Audience level

What audience is the article designed for?

Is it too basic or too technical for your needs?


It is usually easy to determine the publication date of an article.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory

Watch "Is this Article Peer Reviewed?" video for instructions on how to use Ulrich's to determine if a journal is peer-reviewed.