A Guide To Peer-Reviewed Articles

By: Max Malak

11 min



A Guide To Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-Reviewed Article As The Sources of Academic Information

There are a lot of academic sources that can be used in your research work. These can include both scientific and non-scientific information. The non-scientific ones can include newspapers, magazines, and articles. In contrast, the scientific ones include all of the top-notch research papers that are written after careful simulations and experimentation. These papers can be divided further into qualitative and quantitative research papers. It is up to your work, which of these you want to use.

Professional researchers send their work to fellow-researchers who act as experts and go through the work. They help the researcher in spotting any errors or significant details that were left out. In this way, the end product is highly valid, as the researchers can reach reasonable conclusions. Now that you have understood the validity of such articles, you must always use these as sources of academic information. These can add weight to your work as they are proven to be scientifically valid.

About Peer Review

Before moving towards other technicalities, you must know what exactly a peer review is. In academic publishing, the experts aim to scrutinize the content to keep all the articles consistent. It is only after this process that the paper is published in a peer-reviewed journal. Here are the steps:

  • The author submits the content to a journal editor, who then passes it on to the experts in that particular field. As the experts are specialized in the same area as the author's, they are called peers.
  • These experts are impartial reviewers who maintain the quality of the manuscript that is submitted to them.
  • The reviewers check the validity of the manuscript. The accuracy of methodology and procedures is also checked.
  • They suggest revisions if they find something is lacking in terms of validity.

Note: The article will not be published if it fails to meet the journal's standards. So, try to gain as much positive criticism as you can to make your content flawless.

Who Are The "Peers" In "Peer-Reviewed Articles"?

It is integral to understand who the "peers" are in the word "peer-reviewed". They are scholars who specialize in specific fields. Just as the name suggests, they are fellow researchers. This is why sometimes these articles are called "refereed articles". The peers act as quality control referees. They pinpoint each error that they come across. In this way, the draft gets polished by the best out there. The author can get timely reviews and comments that help in making corrections and perfecting the content.

Definition of "Peer-Reviewed"

Now that you are familiar with the term "peer", let us move towards defining "peer-reviewed". The most critical aspect of science is to get the results evaluated by your peers. This can be done both formally and informally. One of the most popular ways is using email. Conferences can be places where you can get quick status updates. It would be best if you got the critique to make your paper pitch-perfect. You can get it published in renowned journals. Now, try not to lose patience as it is human psychology that we tend to become very impatient. Reviewing can take some time. Also, try to send your work well before the deadline. Leave the formatting part for the end. Just focus on getting some positive criticism and stay ready to make modifications.

About Peer-Reviewed Article

Most of the time, these are known as "scholarly" or "refereed" articles. These are solely written for the academic audience by the academics. The process through which the quality and validity are controlled is known as peer review in the peer-reviewed content. This is when the experts in the specific fields agree that the content is valid in methodology and findings. The piece is about the length of a book chapter. It is written by one or more authors and contains research or analysis. The articles have an existence of their own when they are accessed through databases.

Why Should You Use Them?

It would be best if you always considered using them to gain a fresh perspective and new insights into your research work. You can also get to know if you have missed any recent developments. They can instruct you to include more pieces of evidence in case your findings lack supporting material. Peer review has proved to be the foundation of the publication system. This is because the experts scrutinize each word. When your work is finalized, it is error-free, updated, and completely valid. In case you have not validated any hypothesis accurately or have not answered the research question most effectively, you will receive feedback about it. You can then try to revalidate it. Try to collect new evidence and support your stance on the topic using that. The content that is of high quality will then be destined to receive high impact factors.

How Can You Find Peer-Reviewed Articles?

You must be wondering where you can look for such content approved by the "referees". Well, the fastest way is to search online databases. Always read the description that you get on the database. Try to use the advanced search option and use the search box to look for "peer-reviewed" content. You can use databases like "JSTOR" to find them. Google scholar is your other go-to option.

Comparison Between Peer-Reviewed And Popular Articles

There is a fine line between the popular, scientific articles and the peer-reviewed ones. Although the experts write famous ones that we can find easily on Google scholar, it can have many errors. This is because it is not read and corrected by peers. The findings might not be valid. The author might have even missed some of the evidence that is integral to justify any relations drawn between different hypotheses.

In contrast, the content that goes through peers is free from validity issues. You can quickly tell the difference by going through the abstract of the two contents side by side. If you are still struggling with writing an article, try to check some online samples to get an idea.

Distinguishing Aspects of Peer-Reviewed Articles

There are many features, such as:

  • The content has a formal appearance. There are a lot of graphs, tables, and diagrams on it.
  • They always start with an abstract that summarizes the content.
  • Experts that have complete command of the field become authors of such articles.
  • There is no advertising and is often kept at a minimum.
  • Fellow experts in that relevant field scrutinize these articles.
  • The content has a narrow focus.

Introduction To a Peer-Reviewed Journal

Now, you must still find the term “peer-reviewed” very complicated. Well, these are also called refereed articles. These articles go through a professional journey to get published in renowned journals. The starting point is the editorial board. A set of experts check, review, and evaluate your paper before it is published. The fellow researchers add their comments regarding the parts that are missed or need to be explained in detail.

Next, using predetermined criteria like the novelty factor, significance of the research, and excellence, the submissions are assessed. This is done to maintain and protect the material quality of the published work. The members who make up this board are listed at the beginning of every journal issue.

The traditional "peer review" method involves making a group of experts whose identities are left anonymous. People in these groups evaluate the work and provide feedback that goes back to the editor responsible for making the final publication decision.

Today, several respected journals have started experimenting with innovative reviewing models; for example, testing by posting preprints to get feedback from the public and the conventional way of reviewing. It gives the additional benefit of time efficiency and flexibility.

Recognizing Peer-Reviewed Journals

These journals have high academic value, and thus your supervisors will want you to utilize a research paper of this nature. By including such works, you will be giving an impression that your work is of the same standards and quality. There are hundreds of papers published each day regarding different fields.

However, a handful of them goes through a great deal of experimentation. So, if you use the easily found, popular articles in the literature review, that will not add weight to your content. It would help if you went for something that is well-researched and has been refined by the experts.

Now that you understand the reasons to include these, you must also learn the way you can identify these. There are four methods that you can use. The first one is the simplest way. Just limit the database research. You can select “peer-reviewed” from the drop-down menu. Several databases offer restricted research options. Try “Academic Search”, as it can do the job for you.

Other than this, you can also check in the database called Ulrichsweb.com to confirm the journal indicated as this type. Check out the alphabetical listing or type by the exact name of the journal. Do not forget to include any THE, A, or ANY used in the title.

If this does not work out either, examine the publication to determine whether it is peer-reviewed. Here, you will need to inspect it physically in its tangible form; however, this is not possible for those available and accessible only online journals. Lastly, sometimes examining official websites also helps. Nevertheless, keep in mind the site is authentic, and the information you are collecting is accurate.

What Makes Finding Peer-Reviewed Sources Hard?

There are three sources you can get the information from. First are newspapers and magazines. Here the majority of the contributions are made by reporters and journalists who are no experts in their written article. Then there are articles in journals that experts might write but are not as accurate. Some ideas here are really impractical and "out there". Hence these should not be referred to.

The third and useful type consists of peer-reviewed journals. Not only are the journals written by experts, but several other experts also review them before publication. It makes it more scientifically valid. You can look for suitable journals law review articles from Stanford Law School. Hence, it would help if you learned to differentiate between the three and only utilize those mentioned in the third type.

If you know exactly where to look, it is not hard to find peer-reviewed sources. By starting from the right place, the chances are that you find a peer-reviewed relevant source for carrying out your research. All it requires is a few clicks and search techniques you must have been practicing previously in Wikipedia and Google. One of the easiest ways of finding such an article is by utilizing databases from the Library.

All of these would be listed among the rest of the Online Journals as well as Databases index. You can find these databases divided by disciplines and names. Moreover, library subject guides and departmental libraries have designed subject-focused lists and are quite useful in the respective fields.

What Is a Scholarly Journal Article?

Let us now move towards the scholarly journal articles:

Describing a Scholarly Journal Article

These are the types of journals that specialize in publishing research-oriented and technical articles. Their primary audience comprises other scholars and students. As they are accessible online individually, there are specific tips you should keep in mind while looking for them, for example, the credentials of the researchers, experts, and scholars within the field. It is worth remembering that these articles consist of eight pages or more.

You will readily find jargon and acronyms spread out in the content. And not to forget, these are typical "peer-reviewed". A useful tip for remembering significant sections in this document is using the acronym IMRaD.

Where I stands for an introduction that would state the problem, M is for methods describing how the identified problem was studied. R is for reporting, and findings A and D are for discussion based on the conclusion's implications.

Scholarly Article Features

You must be wondering about the features that are included in these scholarly articles? These include:

  • long and detailed titles;
  • acronyms and jargon;
  • formal citations;
  • multiple authors;
  • formal in appearance;
  • utilize visual aids like graphs, tables, and diagrams.

Other than the above points, you will always find an abstract that will be written before the introduction. There will be a paragraph dedicated to methodology. The focus is narrow, as well as specific. All of the work is original as it is written by an expert who has a strong command of the field. Also, it is usually reviewed by peers.

The titles of these journals typically have the word "Review", "Journal", "Research" or "Bulletin". There is minimal or no advertising. Now that you have gone through all of these points, it will be easier for you to spot the article that you want to use in your work.

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Max Malak

Product Manager

Here at Studybay, I work as a Head of Affiliates in the marketing department. I studied Liberal Arts and took related classes at Tokyo Sophia University. I believe that challenges are what make my job fun and exciting. That's why I like completing complex, complicated, and even weird tasks and then sharing my experience with colleagues.

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