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Peer Review and Research

Guidance and resources to support the research process for librarians.

Reflective Critique


“We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience.”

- John Dewey

Reflective critique is an essential practice during a research project. It should be woven throughout, involving every step of the process from doing a literature search, to choosing a topic, to formulating your methodology, to engaging in the peer review process, and most importantly, as a final step upon completion of a research project.   This page is designed to assist you in developing your abilities to employ reflective critique, so you will know what mindset and activities can assure you that you are engaging with your project both critically and reflectively.

Recommended Sources

Brooks, S. V., & Bigelow, S. (n.d.). Learning and teaching in action. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 32(4), 332–338.


Di Stefano, G., Gino, F., Pisano, G. P., & Staats, B. R. (2014). Learning by thinking: How reflection aids performance. SSRN Electronic Journal

"We find that individuals who are given time to reflect on a task improve their performance at a greater rate than those who are given the same amount of time to practice with the same task. Our results also show that if individuals themselves are given the choice to either reflect or practice, they prefer to allocate their time to gaining more experience with the task – to the detriment of their learning." [from article abstract]


Donham, J. (February 2010). Creating personal learning through self-assessment. Teacher Librarian 37(3), 14-21.


Dymarz, A. & Cameron, A. (2015). Self-assessment in librarianship: An exploratory study of current practices and future possibilities. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 10 (1), 1-19.


Forrest, Margaret E. S., (n.d). Learning and teaching in action: On becoming a critically reflective practitioner. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 25, 229-232.


Graf, A. J., & Harris, B. R. (2016). Reflective assessment: Opportunities and challenges. Reference Services Review, 44(1), 38-47.

"Adding a reflective layer to assessment can help us more carefully evaluate what it is we profess to value in the first place"


Hampe, N. (2013). Reflective Practice and Writing: a Guide to Getting Started.  Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).


Hernon, P. & Schwartz, C. (2008). A research study's reflective inquiry, Library & Information Science Research, 30 (3), 164–165.

"What worked?

What didn’t work?

Were my/our goals met?"

"Does the scholar:

  • critically evaluate their work?
  • bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to their critique?
  • use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?"

"Reflection helps the individual to learn from experience because of the meaningful nature of the inquiry into that experience."

"One's learning [...] can be facilitated through the advisement of one or more significant individuals with whom to engage in a reflective process about one's own thoughts and behaviors." (p.172)

"The simple idea of stepping back in order to move forward is so often overlooked in cultures of action and progress." (p.169)