The peer review process tries to ensure that the highest quality research gets published. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editor after deciding if the article meets the basic requirements for inclusion, sends it to be reviewed by other scholars (the author's peers) within the same field. These reviewers provide feedback to the editor to reject the paper, accept the paper as is, or accept the paper with author revisions. This is a good video on the Differences Between Scholarly & Popular Press Articles by Dr. Stephens, Department of Communication Studies.
How can I tell if a particular journal is considered peer reviewed or refereed?
How can I tell if a particular article is peer reviewed?
Peer reviewed articles may include some or all of these elements (individual mileage may vary):
Even if a journal is considered peer reviewed, not all articles within that journal are actually peer reviewed, examples include:
NOTE: An article may be considered scholarly, for example a conference proceeding or technical report, but you cannot assume it was peer reviewed. Need help? Talk to a librarian!
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