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In an academic paper, I need to use the term peer-review many times. However, not 100% sure when to include hyphen. Normally, I do not use hyphen when I say, for example:

When students participate in peer reviews...

However I include a hyphen in such cases:

When students participate in peer-review activities...

I wonder if the way I use the hyphen is correct or not.

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Community Mar 2 '17 at 12:15

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When used as a noun, 'peer review' does not require a hyphen. However, when used as an adjective, it does necessitate one. For example:

When students participate in peer reviews.. (Here, 'peer reviews' is not modifying anything, hence no hyphen required)

When students participate in peer-review activities.. (Here, 'peer review' is describing the 'activities' in question, hence the hyphen)

In conclusion, the way you're using it is correct.

  • Please note that (a) this has been answered on ELU before (though it would be hard for a newer member to find this particular duplicate) (b) more importantly, answers at the duplicate include supporting statements from recognised authorities (which ELU vastly prefers to be the case). – Edwin Ashworth Mar 2 '17 at 11:16
  • In fact, the situation seems to be that most people do the opposite of what you claim to be 'necess[ary]'. These Google Ngrams seem to show that the incorrect parsing of peer + review + activities is so unlikely that the hyphen is superfluous to requirements here.... – Edwin Ashworth Mar 2 '17 at 11:32
  • The Wikipedia article at the duplicate thread points out this common 'breaking' of the 'always hyphenate compound pre-modifiers' 'rule'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 2 '17 at 11:36

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