Who writes these articles?
Scholars, experts in their field - much of the time they are your professors who are researching a topic, a question. Depending on the field, that could mean they are gathering and analyzing data, conducting experiments, testing new pharmaceuticals or delving into archives.
What does this process of peer review entail?
Peer review is a process that academic journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, etc.
Publications that don't use peer review (like newspapers and magazines) rely on editors. They have different goals than journals do. They want to inform, sometimes entertain, an audience on current events or explain scientific studies to a general, non-expert audience.
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