What is peer review?


Question:

What is peer review?

Answer:

Peer review (also known as refereeing) is a well-accepted indicator of quality scholarship. It is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work to the examination of academic experts (scholarly or scientific peers) in the same field.

Most scholarly journals, as opposed to the popular press, are peer-reviewed. Articles not approved by a majority of the peers are not accepted for publication by the journal.

The authors of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles are scholars and researchers who want to publish the results of their research. The articles are formal in format and the sources are cited with footnotes or by a bibliography at the end. Specialized, subject-specific language is used. Publishers of peer-reviewed articles are professional organizations, research institutions and not-for-profit organizations.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified by consulting Ulrich's periodicals directory. The icon next to the journal title indicates a "refereed" (peer-reviewed) journal. In the Advanced Search Ulrich’s, among other databases, provides the opportunity to limit the search to peer-reviewed journals only.

If you are unsure if an article or journal is peer-reviewed, Ask a Librarian for further assistance.