Q. What is a Peer-Reviewed Article?
What is a Peer-Reviewed Article?
Scholarly journals are also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals. Strictly speaking, peer-reviewed journals refer only to those scholarly journals that submit articles to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published.
What to look for:
- Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.
- Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or exciting pictures.
- Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings.
- Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article, universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like.
- The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some technical background on the part of the reader.
- The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.
- Many scholarly journals, though by no means all, are published by a specific professional organization.
Where to Find Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Articles:
- OneSearch (click the filter for Scholarly Journals under "Show Only")
- Academic Search Complete (Under "Limit to" select Scholarly Peer Reviewed Journals)
- Academic OneFile (select filter for Peer-Reviewed Journals)
Peer Review Process in 4 steps:
- Author (or authors) writes article and submits to journal;
- If meets the journal's criteria, editor sends copy to peers (experts in the field) for reviewing;
- The peer reviewers check the manuscript for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures;
- Paper accepted and published, then usually listed in databases for other researchers to find and read, to inform their writing.
Video: Peer Review in 3 Minutes
Adapted from Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA.