Dr. Johnson Library Resources Course Guide: Peer Review

Understanding Peer Review

Peer Review

Peer review is a vetting process used by many academic publishers where an article submitted for publication is only published after it has received approval by a panel of experts in the field.  The peer review process ensures that articles published are authoritative and accurate.  There are several methods by which the process takes place, but the team of reviewers is typically unaware of who the author is at the time they are reviewing the work.  Once the submission passes the peer review process it can be published. 

Should I only use peer reviewed articles?

While peer review is a process typical of academic publishers and professional research, the process is not typical of more popular publications.  When looking for articles published in popular magazines, newspapers, government documents and others it is important to understand that these publications will typically not have undergone the peer review process.

How do I find peer reviewed articles?

Most library search tools have an option for you to limit your search to peer reviewed articles if you wish.  These "limiters" will ensure that your search only returns results which have undergone the Peer review process.

Is this journal peer reviewed?

If you have questions about whether or not a particular journal title is peer reviewed you can look up the title in Ulrich's Web.  This might be important when using print resources, or when requesting material through Interlibrary Loan.


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