Answered By: Kathleen Hutchison
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2018     Views: 1

Peer review is a process that scholarly journals use to make sure that the articles they include are sound and appropriate.

Articles submitted for inclusion in a scholarly or academic journal undergo peer review by being sent to outside experts in the relevant field to read and judge. These experts provide opinions to the journal editor on whether the article is suitable for publication. In journals or magazines that do not use the peer review process, the editor alone decides what should be published.

This process means that articles in a peer-reviewed journal have been looked over and vetted by several experts in the field rather than selected by an editor alone. Many scholars, especially in the sciences, find peer-reviewed articles more trustworthy when doing research.

Most databases, such as EBSCO's Academic Search Complete, allow searchers to narrow results to only articles that have been peer reviewed, e.g. by marking a checkbox in the Limiters side bar. Additionally, you can view the 'Publication Details' about a particular journal in databases like Academic Search Complete, which will indicate if the journal is peer reviewed or not.

You may also perform a Google search for the journal.  Most Journals will have their own webpage that provides instructions for authors or information about the journal, read through these pages to see if the journal uses a peer-review process.