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Occupational Therapy Guide for the OTA Program

This guide is designed to help you find, evaluate, and use information in the fields of occupational therapy and occupational therapy assisting for the OTA Program.

Evaluate Health Information

Evaluating the information you find, whether in print or digital format, is an essential aspect of doing research.

Learn to think critically about the source of information and the information within each source by using the Evaluate Your Sources guide (linked below). Once acquired, the habit of critical analysis will serve you in everything you read. 

Scholarly Publishing

Peer Review

The peer-review process is used by many scholarly journals to guarantee a certain amount of accuracy and quality in the publication of scholarly information. A peer-review panel (or board of editors, or referees) made up of other researchers in the same field will vet the article before it is published. Sometimes the article is sent back to the authors/researchers to be improved before publication. 

Retractions

Sometimes a research article is found to be severely flawed or invalid even after peer-review and publication. Retracting an article means a publication will not longer stand behind it. Reasons for retraction vary greatly, from ethical violations such as plagiarism or failure to disclose conflicts of interest to out-and-out fraud or falsifying results. 

Predatory Publishing

Just as there are websites that publish fake information or clickbait to earn profits, there are for-profit publishers of dubious research. Although researchers may knowingly submit articles to some of these publishers in order to pad their credentials, in many cases the publisher is taking advantage of a researcher who believes the publisher is legitimate.

Types of Scientific Evidence

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000