Bachelor of Paramedicine: Scholarly Journals & Peer Review Process

Introduction to Writing at University

When completing written assessment tasks at University you are required to seek out  a variety of information sources. These will include readings recommended by your lecturer but also books, journal articles  and internet sources that you locate yourself. In your writing you will need to provide evidence to support your point of view. You will need to refer to  credible, authoritative sources of information. Searching the Victoria University library for books on your topic is one source as are credible websites. However, during your studies you will be required to refer to and cite peer - reviewed journal articles as evidence in your assessment tasks.

The information on this page is provided to help you become familiar with  academic journals and the peer-review process.

Journals and Databases

A journal or periodical is usually published a number of times throughout the year. It may be published monthly or quarterly or twice a year.  Individual journal titles publish articles related to a particular field or subject area. A list of journals covering paramedicine is provided below. 

You can search for journal articles on a topic via Library search or via Library databases.  A Database is a search engine for journal articles. Key databases for searching paramedic literature are listed here.

View the videos in this guide to learn how to search for journal articles. 

Peer-Reviewed Journals, Popular Magazines and Trade Publications - What is the difference?

This table highlights the difference between  types of journals.









Purpose of the publication:

Appearance of the publication:

Purchased from:

Articles known as:

Review of the articles done by:

Appearance of the articles:

Type of articles:

Abstract available at the beginning of the articles:

Author Credentials or Affliations with Universities:

Biography of the author:

Bibliography or Footnotes:       


Scholarly Journals 


​ To present the results of original research.

Plain cover with few/no advertisements inside.

Subscribed by institutional libraries.

Peer-reviewed articles.

Author's peers in the same subject area.

Contains technical charts and graphs. No photographs.

Lengthy, in-depth, subject focused.

Abstract summarises main points of the article.

Credentials (PhD) and affiliations available after the author's name is given.

Describes author's involvement with the subject.

Citations of sources given.

Specialists vocabulary and jargon present. Specialist knowledge required to understand the article content.


Popular Magazines

Reader's Digest

To publish background readings and interviews.

Flashy covers with lots of attractive advertisements.

From newsagents or grocery stores.

Magazine articles.

Magazine's editor approves the publication.

Contains many illustrations or colourful photographs.

Short and present an overview.

No abstract. Article provides introductory background of a topic.

Not available as authors are mainly journalists with no specialist knowledge.

Not available as authors are not subject specialists.

Sources are not cited.

Non-technical language. Unfamiliar terms and concepts are defined.




Trade Publications


To inform relevant news and trends to people in an industry.

Glossy with colourful photos and ads from specific industry.

Subscriptions or from newsagents.

Professional/ trade articles.

Reviewed by the editor of the trade publication.

Contains colourful photographs and advertisements.

Specialized, but not scholarly.

No abstract. Provides industry trends and organisational news. 

Credentials usually provided. Field or industry specialists with expertise.

Not available as published by trade/ professional associations.

Limited reference list.

Extensive use of jargon and terminologies in a particular industry or trade.

Original Research Article vs Review Article

Characteristics of an original research article

  • Author(s) present a new set of findings from an original research study. 
  • The article is written by the researchers who performed the research.  An original research article will discuss the collection of raw data and include an analysis by the authors. 
  • An original  research article usually  contains the following sections: Introduction/background, Methods, Results, Discussion, References

Example of original research article: 

Ruiz Oropeza, A., Mikkelsen, S., Bindslev-Jensen, C., & Mortz, C. G. (2017). Pre-hospital treatment of bee and wasp induced anaphylactic reactions: a retrospective study. Scandinavian Journal Of Trauma, Resuscitation And Emergency Medicine, 25(1), 4. doi:10.1186/s13049-016-0344-y

Characteristics of a review article

  • Review articles provide an analysis or review of the literature on a topic.
  • A review article will refer to multiple original studies.
  • In most cases the authors of the review article have not conducted the studies that they refer to.

Example of review article: 

Brooks, S. C., Hassan, N., Bigham, B. L., & Morrison, L. J. (2014). Mechanical versus manual chest compressions for cardiac arrest. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(2). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007260.pub3