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Therapist Assistant

This guide will help Therapist Assistant students find research information in the OC Library collections and on the Internet.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are materials that explain and analyze a subject in a particular area.  When you're starting a research project and you're unfamiliar with a subject area try starting with more basic secondary sources such as academic books and e-books. 

When you're more familiar with your topic, you can move to a more detailed secondary source, such as journal articles found through OCtopus or by accessing individual Research databases or Journals


What is Peer-Review and Why is it Important to you.

Peer review has been a fundamental part of scholarly journals since their inception. It is the process of subjecting an author's manuscript (article) to scrutiny by others who are considered to be experts in that particular subject field, prior to its publication.

The role of the publishers is to manage and support this process, much heavy lifting is performed by unpaid academic scholars who act as editors, members of editorial boards and referees (peers).

Peer review involves:

1. Review of the submitted manuscript by journal editorial staff to make sure that the work fits into the journal's scope and meets its standards as to format, research ethics, research methodology, etc.

2. Editors then select reviewers who using a double-blind process, assess manuscript for quality and make recommendations to the editor regarding the acceptance of the work for publication, required revisions or rejection of the work. It is during this process they:

  • Check for the "soundness" of the work's content by examining the research methodology employed in developing the work findings and conclusions;
  • Reach out to the author to suggest revision that will improve the quality of the work or its presentation;
  • Assess the work for its originally, significance to the overall body of knowledge of the subject field, and broader interests; and
  • Assess the fit between the submitted work and the journal.

3. The Journal editor (and quite often the journal editorial board) makes the final decision to publish a submitted work. 

Authors of articles attach great importance to the peer review process because of how it assists them in improving the quality of their papers.  The peer review process also provided a mechanism for identifying plagiarism. 

Ultimately to you, as a reader, the peer review's greatest value is found in the "central pillar of trust" that the process imparts into the article's trustworthiness - it provides a degree of certainty about the quality of the product.

Nicholas, D., Watkinson, A., Jamali, H. R., Herman, E., Tenopir, C., Volentine, R., Allard, S., & Levine, K. (2015). Peer review: still king in the digital age. Learned Publishing28(1), 15–21.


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