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Research 101: A Self-Guided Tutorial

Research Smarter

5 - Peer Review

Peer Review

When professors talk about scholarly information, they may refer to it in many ways:

  • Peer-reviewed
  • Academic
  • Scholarly
  • Refereed

All of these essentially mean the same thing. And it hinges on peer review.

What is peer-review? Researchers produce scholarly information that usually goes through a peer-review process. This means that other scholars (peers) have reviewed the information (usually in the form of a scholarly article) and decided that it is of good quality and meets the standards established for the discipline.

Peer review and publication takes a lot of time. There can be a year or more between submission and publication. The process is also highly competitive. For example, some journals only accept about 10% of all the articles they receive.

Here is an overview of the peer review process.

A scholar studies something & writes about it > Journal editor receives the article and sends it out for peer-review > Peer-reviewers read the article and provide feedback to the editor > The editor either accepts, accepts with edits, or rejects the article > If it is accepted, the article is published in a peer-reviewed journal.