Part 2. Recognize Types of Information
8 Understanding Peer Review
Your assignment may require that you include information from “peer reviewed” articles. These articles are published in scholarly or academic journals after they’ve gone through a lengthy editorial process which usually involves the author making many revisions, before final acceptance is made. The reviewers themselves are experts in the same field, and judge the strength of the article on the originality of the research, the methods used, and the validity of findings. The highest standard of peer review is “double-blind,” meaning that both the identity of the authors as well as the reviewers are kept anonymous in order to ensure that bias and subjectivity do not influence the process.
But be careful: Not all of the content in an academic journal is subject to peer review. There may be other content such as letters, opinion pieces, and book reviews that have been edited, but not necessarily gone through a formal peer review process.
ACTIVITY: Watch, listen, and learn
The following video describes the process of peer review.
ACTIVITY: Summarize the peer review process
But how can you, the researcher, recognize a peer reviewed article?
Fortunately, the library’s Summon search and most of our databases have a filter or limit which will help you find the right type of information. Various databases will use different terms: look for “academic” or “scholarly” or “peer reviewed.”
There are other clues you can look for.
Tip: Clues to help you decide if it’s peer reviewed
|Author’s credentials and affiliations||Look for the author’s degrees, as well as the university or research institution they are affiliated with.|
|References||Any peer reviewed article will have a lengthy list of sources used by the author.|
|Submission guidelines||Somewhere on the journal’s homepage will be a link for submitting an article for review. You may have to dig around a little!|
|Journal publisher||Is the journal published by a scholarly society? a university press?|
Activity: Summing up Module 2
Pick the correct statement.
Well done! You’ve completed the text and activity portion of Part 2 Recognizing Types of Information. You are welcome to review any part of this module at any time.