Peer Review Quick Guide
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Common Peer Review Dilemmas
This section provides opportunities to explore ethical dilemmas that novice peer reviewers may face. The consequences of these dilemmas can range from minor misunderstandings to potential for compromising research integrity.

In contrast to the Common Mistakes section, the exercise in 'Dilemmas in Peer Review' requires users to focus on 'general' peer review issues rather than one's ability to discern a correct statistical methodology or conceptual approach in a manuscript or research proposal. The nature of ethical dilemmas is such that there may not be a single 'correct' answer. Arguments could be made to support any number of answers.

The point is to encourage users to reflect on their decision making processes as they consider a number of possible responses to the presented dilemma, and be able to defend a choice with substantial support. This exercise also allows users to vicariously experience the consequences of any particular choice for the purpose of refining decision making.

Users are asked to select a dilemma, read through an introductory paragraph, click on the Start button, and review the specific ethical dilemma. The user can then review the list of four possible responses/actions to consider. Users are encouraged to carefully think through the possible consequences of any response/action they select. Each action may lead to four possible outcomes. A follow-up feedback message provides a suggestion for better decision making (Note: the four selections represent only a limited number of possibilities and the user is encouraged to consider additional responses/actions). Users can click on 'Select' to navigate to a previous level, 'Restart' to revisit the introductory paragraph, or 'Exit' to return to the list of dilemmas.

Developed 2006 by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Northern Illinois University.