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Short Course in Scientific Peer Review - E-learning



Although there is scientific peer review information freely available on the internet, this short course will help participants to navigate the processes in reviewing scientific papers. This short course has several short quizzes to test newly acquired information and skills; opportunities to review two manuscripts, once with guiding questions and once without any guidance; a chance to see what others have commented on in reviews and finally a personal reflection on future training needs as a peer reviewer. Key resources are also provided as participants start their scholarly pursuit as a peer reviewer.

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Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course learners should be able to:

  • Identify personal motivation(s) regarding peer reviewing
  • Identify reasons for accepting and not accepting a manuscript
  • Comment critically on a manuscript
  • Write a review
  • Decide about the publishability of a manuscript
  • Compile a response to the editorial board
  • Identify personal future learning needs regarding peer reviewing

Who Should Enrol

Participants in possession of a degree or advanced diploma who wish to become a peer reviewer or those wish to further develop their reviewing skills.

Admission Requirements

NQF level 7 qualification.

Course Design

This is an online course. Participants have 3 months to complete the assessment process from date of registration.

Course Content

Participants will be guided through this course by working through the information provided and the links to videos and other learning resources. Participants will also be provided with the necessary resources to assist their learning and deepen their understanding by answering the following questions:

  • What is my motivation for becoming a peer reviewer?
  • Why are some manuscripts rejected while others are accepted?
  • What are the steps in the process of reviewing a manuscript?
  • What questions will the editor of a journal ask you before you are considered eligible to be a reviewer?
  • What are often the key weaknesses in a manuscript?
  • How can we judge the quality of the data presented in a manuscript?
  • What is your decision about the suitability of a manuscript for publication?
  • Is my peer review coherent, cordial, comprehensive and concise (the 4Cs)?
  • How did your review compare to an expert review?
  • What questions will the editor of a journal ask you before you are considered eligible to be a reviewer?
  • What must you look for in a manuscript?
  • What do you still need to learn about peer review?


In this short course you will have several opportunities to be assessed which includes scientific peer reviews, quizzes and written reflections.


FPD will award successful participants with a certificate of completion should they successfully complete the assessment process.

Your CPD certificate will be generated to your online CPD Manager, upon completion.


Accredited according to HCPSA's Medical and Dental Board Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals for 30 Ethical CEU's on Level 2.


R 2 000.00 (This amount is inclusive of all vat and taxes where applicable).