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Peer review is the process by which, prior to publication, research articles are evaluated by a group of experts in the field (peers).
An overview of the peer review process
WHAT ARE SCHOLARLY JOURNALS?
Scholarly journals are publications which report original research to other academics within a specific discipline. Articles which appear in scholarly journals are typically, but not always, subject to peer review prior to publication.
IDENTIFYING SCHOLARLY JOURNALS
Following is a checklist of some typical qualities of a scholarly journal article:
Is there an abstract or summary at the beginning of the article?
Does the article include a bibliography?
Are there in-text citations (e.g., parenthetical references, endnotes, or footnotes)?
Does the author use specialized language, relevant to the subject area?
What is the author's affiliation or credentials (e.g., is it with a college, university, or research organization)?
Who is the audience of the article? Is it written for fellow scholars in the field, for practitioners, or for a general/popular audience?
How many pages is the article? Is it substantial in length?
What kind of images does it contain? Scholarly journals tend to have few, if any images, but often contain charts, graphs, or data tables.
Does the journal title refer to an academic discipline or specialized field of study? Often the title will include words such as journal, research, or review.