Monday, March 4, 2013

WHAT IS A PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE?

A peer-reviewed article has gone through a process which determines its validity and quality for publication in a scholarly journal.  The author of the article submits it to a journal editor who forwards the article to an editorial board, experts in the field, considered to be the author's peers.  The article is carefully evaluated for accuracy and the validity of the research methodology is examined.  If the article is lacking in these areas, it is rejected for publication in the journal.  Some characteristics of a peer-reviewed article are:

---Is the  journal in which you found the article published by a professional scholarly society or a professional association?

---Does the article have an abstract, or a summary at the beginning?

---Does the article have a bibliography at the end?

---Are the author's credentials listed?

---Is the subject of the article narrow in focus and explored in depth?

---Is the article based on original research?

---Is the article aimed at individuals with prior knowledge of the subject?

Many databases, such as Academic Search Premier and CINAHL will enable you to limit your research to peer-reviewed articles.  Choose the advanced search option and look for the check-box that allows you to limit your results to peer-reviewed only.  And remember, there is a librarian at the Reference/Information Desk to offer assistance!