Review Process for OSU Extension Educational Materials

Authored by county educators or Department of Extension specialists for statewide distribution

Professional Integrity
Review procedures are designed to enhance the credibility and research base of OSU Extension educational materials, protect the individual’s or team’s work and strengthen scholarship credentials. OSU Extension professionals are responsible for the accuracy and overall integrity of any educational materials they author or produce for public distribution. Examples include but are not limited to fact sheets, curriculum and items for sale on eStores. These may be distributed through the web, mass media, educational programs, audio, video or other means. These are referred to below as “publications.” Plagiarism and copyright infringements must be avoided. Use of citations and receiving written permission for materials, pictures or creative expressions of which you are not the original author is essential.

Papers submitted to a rigorous blind peer review process in a journal or at national professional meetings do not require this review. When specialists from a non-Extension department are authors or co-authors, blind peer review is not required. However, the use of this blind peer review process is strongly recommended because it enhances the credibility of the publication. If a publication is created/updated and does not go through peer review, then the entry in the author’s dossier cannot say peer reviewed.

Initial Process
All new publications, or existing publications over four years old (at which time they should be assessed/updated), should be submitted to the assistant director. If only minor revisions are being made (no title change, just a few updates, etc.), the assistant director will determine whether the publication will need to go through the blind peer review process. If minimal changes are made, the original author(s) should be credited and an informal proofread should be done by a qualified colleague. If a more comprehensive revision or a complete re-write is undertaken, the blind peer review process is necessary, and primary authorship credit will be given to the reviser with secondary credit provided to original author(s) as appropriate.

Any curriculum being developed can be considered for peer review when the developer feels that is it complete and ready for peer review. Curriculum materials should always go through the assistant director to initiate the peer review process. The goal for any educational material developed and taught by Extension should be to subject it to a blind peer review process. Extension curriculum should be based on literature, have scope and sequence, and be citable and transferable. All educators should develop curriculum materials with these qualities in mind.

Evaluation Plan
An evaluation plan is strongly recommended for inclusion with the initial submission of curriculum materials, including impact evaluation plans and plans for evaluating the quality of teaching. While not required, such evaluation plans will strengthen the work and allow for better reporting of Extension programming’s impact on Ohioans. See staff in the Program Development and Evaluation Unit for assistance with drafting impact evaluation plans (

Publication through CFAES Marketing and Communications
For OSU Extension publications, CFAES Marketing and Communications can provide assistance in editing and layout if needed after the review process is complete. Items can be submitted in Word document format, with any desired images/graphics included. Please submit the Fact Sheet Request Form, signed by the assistant director, along with your Word document. Guidelines published by CFAES Marketing and Communications must be followed. If the item will be a “for sale” OSU Extension publication, pricing is determined at the time of approval.

Unit publications such as newsletters, points of pride, newspaper articles, etc. are published by county offices for local use and do not require peer review unless published to the web (county newsletters published to the web do not require peer review). Informal review (not blind review) is appropriate for items such as blog posts, social media entries, and webinars. Further guidelines for digital documents are currently being developed and will be posted here when finalized.

Submission Guidelines
All publications (electronic or print) intended for statewide (or broader) distribution by county educators and Department of Extension faculty will be submitted for blind peer review by a minimum of three people. At least one of those reviewing will be an Extension faculty member or qualified subject matter expert from outside Ohio.


  • Effective February 1, 2013, all submissions should include an analysis of the content using Turnitin. Instructions for OSU Extension use of Turnitin are posted here (as of March 18, 2016).
  • The Turnitin report or report summary and cover letter are part of the process to inform the assistant director of the type of work and ensure high quality. If the index is too high, you may need to re-check that references are properly cited.
  • For questions and/or help with Turnitin, contact Ken Kulka at 614-292-2012 or

General Requirements:

  • Submissions should be made electronically to the appropriate assistant director. In the body of the email requesting the review, please briefly describe the educational need the materials are designed to address.
  • Attach one electronic copy of materials to be reviewed for any submission (publication, video, audio, fact sheet, curriculum, web publication, etc.) ensuring that the materials to be reviewed do not contain authors’ names or any other identifying information.
  • Include Turnitin report (as above, not blinded).
  • Citations should be complete and use APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) standards. The majority of references should originate from material published within the past 10 years.
  • Include a separate title page (see Separate Title Page Contents outlined below).

Separate Title Page Contents:

  • Publication title
  • Authors’ full names (this is the only page where authors’ names should be included)
  • Author(s), title(s) and institution(s)
  • Complete mail address for lead author
  • Telephone and fax numbers
  • Valid e-mail addresses for all authors
  • Description of publication: Is it print, electronic or web-based? Is it a fact sheet, bulletin, curriculum, video, audio, print piece, other? If it is a revision, please include the original title and identifying numbers.
  • Abstract: a succinct description of the content including targeted audience and not exceeding 250 words
  • Submission date

For Peer Reviewers
Below is a link to download a copy of the Review of Extension Educational Materials form used to rate educational materials submissions.

DIRECTIONS for downloading and opening the file:

  1. Click the link below, which will take you to BuckeyeBox.
  2. Click the “Download” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen (see red arrow in screen shot below).
  3. Open the downloaded form with either the Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader program on your computer (the document will NOT open correctly in most internet browsers or in Mac’s “Preview” app).
    • If you do not have Adobe on your computer, you can download a free version of Adobe Reader here:
    • If you are seeing the “Please Wait…” message (as in the screen shot below), your computer is trying to view the document in a program which is unable to read the file. Please first open Adobe Acrobat or Reader, then go to File → Open and select the location on your computer where you downloaded the form.

Download Review Form








Access the Review of Extension Materials form here:

**An assistant director will complete the information requested at the top of the Review of Extension Educational Materials form.

For more information, contact Ken Martin, chair, Department of Extension at

Administrative Cabinet approved: April 2006
Updated November 2009; revised March 2013; updated peer review form added March 2015;
– January 2016; form revised October 2017