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What is peer review?

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Peer review is an evaluation method used by scholarly journals, as opposed to using an editorial board to choose articles for publication. After an article is sent to an academic journal, the editor sends it to several peer reviewers, typically fellow scholars in the same field as the author (peers), for evaluation.

If you are asked to find articles that are peer-reviewed, what you are really looking for are articles published in a peer-reviewed journal.

**Peer-reviewed journals may also contain articles that are not peer reviewed, such as letters to the editor or book reviews. Limiting a search in a library database to peer reviewed journals may still find these types of articles in your search results. So, always look at your results with a critical eye!

To determine whether an article was published in a peer reviewed journal, if you didn’t find it in a library database or PubMed, where that information is usually provided in the search results, you’ll need to Google for it. Journal websites will typically discuss editorial processes, and if they use peer review, they usually share that information, along with other markers of quality.

This information is often listed in the following areas:

  • The About Us section
  • Editorial policies
  • Instructions for authors
  • Submission guidelines
  • Questions?

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