The Role of Feedback Forms in Academic Research and Peer Reviews

Vital tools in academic research and peer reviews

Feedback forms come in handy in a variety of situations. They include surveys, questionnaires, or similar formats that companies might use to ascertain what customers feel about their products and services. However, these types of tools are also helpful in the realm of academia. Whenever research is being conducted or peers are reviewing what one of their colleagues has produced, such forms can be a method through which their colleagues learn what experts in their niche have to say about their findings.

In academia, offering a critique is sometimes akin to being assigned homework by a professor. As you get to the point where your research could earn you an advanced degree, you must learn how to critically evaluate the findings your colleagues produce in areas of academic research in which you’re becoming an expert. However, there’s a key difference between peer reviews and the normal homework assignments you might be used to.

In college, you can get help from or a similar service that will gladly do your assignment for money if you ask them to. All you have to do to find such a service is Google phrases like “write my paper online” or “write papers for me,” and you will immediately see various entities willing to assist you. It’s not so easy to hire a professional when you have been tasked with doing peer reviews.

That is because such an assignment is typically highly personal. Usually, you’re being asked to give an opinion on the validity of a theory a colleague has put forth. That’s probably something you’ll need to do on your own rather than hiring a professional writer to act as your stand-in.

It’s probably not a bad thing that you learn how to give a critique for research that a colleague has done, though. Assuming you get an advanced degree in the field in question, you will likely have to go through this process many times in your life. It behooves you to know how to fill out one of these surveys and give constructive criticism whenever someone working in your field has a new theory.

In any event, it’s worth talking about the role of such tools in the areas of peer review and academic research. We will discuss that right now.

These Types of Tools Standardize How a Peer’s Response Should Look

In the academic world, a professor could give you a homework task that focuses on practically anything having to do with your degree. That could be an assignment on software licensing laws and ethics. Maybe they want you to write about AI or the latest advances in medical science. No matter what they want you to write about, though, they will likely demand that your paper adheres to a strict structure or format. That format could be:

a. MLA

b. APA

c. CMS

These are the three most popular styles of academic papers you’re likely to encounter on college campuses in the modern era. They’re all a little different, but they share a crucial similarity. They’re all standardized, meaning they each have identifying traits that your instructor will look for during the all-important grading process.

Feedback forms for academic research are the same. While their structure might vary slightly depending on what format is considered to be the benchmark in your particular niche, it is their standardization that matters. If you can learn how to correctly fill out one of these forms, then the process becomes rote. The more times you do it, the easier it becomes.

Person working on laptop

Why Does This Matter?

The reason why this matters is that if you become used to a particular structure for forms intended for peer reviews or academic-style research, you will know how to say both positive and negative things about a colleague’s findings.

Let’s imagine a scenario for a moment. You have several individuals who have earned advanced degrees in a particular area. They are now considered to be experts in the field. They are engaged in real-world studies where they come up with hypotheses and gather data to support them.

One of these individuals shouldn’t just publish their findings without getting them carefully reviewed by other acknowledged experts in the field. This is where having a standardized feedback format comes into play. When someone who has been studying a particular phenomenon in the field reveals their findings, a standardized way of critiquing them allows their peers to:

a. Gently point out any area of the study that they feel is lacking

b. Applaud any part of the study that seems innovative, groundbreaking, or revolutionary

c. Give a general opinion of whether the findings have validity

If the consensus is that a colleague’s findings are correct and useful, that is a huge step toward validation of whatever it is they have discovered. Often, this moves the researcher down the path toward recognition and even fame. On the other hand, if a colleague’s findings are discovered to be flawed, these forms are often the delivery method through which bad news is received. It’s unfortunate when that happens, but sometimes, an overzealous individual has to be reined in if they used unreliable methods or made some major misstep on the way to their conclusions.

These Tools Can Also Help an Author Polish Their Work 

If you think of these kinds of feedback delivery systems as templates for reviewers to use as they determine a study’s validity, then you have grasped the general concept. When the researcher sees what their peers are saying, they can:

a. Use those comments to improve their work before they publish it

b. Reconsider certain aspects of their manuscripts or see them in a new light

c. See whether there is any feature of their data that is being roundly rejected

This information could not be any more important. It’s true that someone in academia can publish anything they like, but if their peers are completely rejecting it, then the rest of the world is not likely to take it seriously, either. Ultimately, that is the role feedback forms play in the academic research field. They are the tools that a particular academic niche uses to critique a researcher’s findings. As such, they are the deliverers of either good or bad news. It’s not unusual for the author of a study to await what they say with bated breath.

If there is universal acceptance and acclaim for what a researcher has discovered, then they might be on their way to magazine covers and talk show interviews, assuming they’re researching something that has enough mainstream or crossover interest. If all of the feedback reveals that their fellow scholars doubt the validity of their findings, they may have to return to the drawing board and develop a new theory. In any case, the forms through which the news is delivered serve a critical function. Without them, it would be much more difficult for peers to review each other’s work.

Two persons engaged in discussion


Indeed Editorial Team. (n.d.). Feedback forms: Definition, benefits, and how to create one. Indeed. Retrieved June 10, 2024, from

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2019). Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches. SAGE Publications.

Scholastica. (2021, July 20). How can an effective peer review feedback form be created, and why does every journal need one? Scholastica Blog. Retrieved June 10, 2024, from

Taylor & Francis Group. (n.d.). Understanding peer review. Author Services. Retrieved June 10, 2024, from

Wisker, G. (2018). The Postgraduate Research Handbook: Succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD, and PhD. Red Globe Press.

About the Author


Christopher Lier, CMO LeadGen App

Christopher is a specialist in Conversion Rate Optimisation and Lead Generation. He has a background in Corporate Sales and Marketing and is active in digital media for more than 5 Years. He pursued his passion for entrepreneurship and digital marketing and developed his first online businesses since the age of 20, while still in University. He co-founded LeadGen in 2018 and is responsible for customer success, marketing and growth.