The hidden side of clinical trials

Watch the AllTrials TEDx talk on YouTube

Learn more

Evidence matters to the public

Join us on 1st November at Parliament to make the case

Learn more

Plant Science Panel

Insecticides, biofuels, GMOs …

Learn more

'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

Learn more

Peer review and the media

You can also download this section as a document file for the classroom. This content works well with lesson plan 2 - science in the news and lesson plan 3 - challenges of peer review.

Navigating through the hundreds of science news stories released every day can be tricky. How to tell which flashy headline is based on sound science? We have put together a checklist of things to consider when reading science news stories.

The Peer Review Checklist

Think about the following questions when reading media articles about scientific research:

  • Is there a good experiment plan?
  • Are the results and conclusions clearly explained?
  • Did the results demonstrate any new information?
  • Has the work been checked by experts in the field?
  • Does it mention if the work has been published in a journal?
  • Has the work been acknowledged by other scientists as a contribution to the field?

No matter how exciting or compelling new scientific or medical research is you should always ask 

  • Is it peer-reviewed?
  • If not, why not?

If it is peer reviewed, you can look for more information on what other scientists say about it, the size and approach of the study and whether it is part of a body of evidence pointing towards the same conclusions.