What is peer-review?
A lot of times, academic journals require peer review for new articles. What this means is that when an article is submitted to a journal, it has to go through a process where other experts in the same field read it and decide whether or not it's a good article. That decision depends on questions like:
- Is it well-researched?
- Are the methods consistently applied?
- Are the basic principles of the article accurate according to the reviewer's knowledge of the subject?
- Is the article as neutral as possible, or does the author seem to personally prefer one conclusion over another?
This is important because it's a quality-control
process, which means only good, strong articles that are accurate,
well-researched, and consistent are published. Because of that, you can
trust those articles because you know the author didn't just make up a
bunch of big words that sound nice together. Peer-reviewed articles can
also be called scholarly articles because they're very high-quality
works that are appropriate for use by scholars (like you!) in their
You can find peer-reviewed articles in most of our e-journal databases. When you search for articles, you will usually see a little box under the search box that says something like "Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed" in ProQuest Research Library or "Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals" in Ebscohost: Academic Search Premier; the database will let you put a little check mark in that box so that only high-quality articles appear in your search results. You may need to hunt around for that little box if you're not familiar with the database you're using, but it's always worth the effort!
Abstract: A short summary of an article. Not acceptable as a source.
Citation: A little note inserted after each idea in your paper that tells the reader where in your references the information came from. E.G.: (Roberts, 2000)
Database: A searchable electronic collection of journals.
Full-Text: The entire article is available.
Journal: A regularly-published magazine full of articles.
Peer-Reviewed: See the box to the right for a full explanation.
Reference: The publication information for each of your sources. E.G.: Roberts, K. (2000). The dynamics of deaf-hearing interaction. American Annals for the Deaf, 186(2), 271-278.
Source: A book, article, or other publication you use to find information for your paper.