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Scholarly Communication

"Academic journals are periodicals in which researchers publish their work. They are typically peer-reviewed journals, meaning that the work is reviewed and evaluated by other scholars prior to publication in an effort to ensure that only the best, most rigorously researched articles are published. Journal articles offer a window into the inner workings of a discipline. They demonstrate how social scientists formulate hypotheses, design empirical studies, analyze the observations they collect, and interpret their results."   (Laubepin 2013)

Peer Reviewed? Refereed?

Peer Review.  The process of obtaining impartial opinions from the research and academic community in order to ascertain whether papers submitted for publication in journals are of a sustainable standard. 

Referee.  An independent expert who assists the editor of a journal in evaluating the acceptability of contributions submitted for publication.

Video: Understanding Peer Review

Peer Review Process

Peer review is a term that generally applies to research articles in scholarly journals. 

1.   Scholar writes a paper and submits it to a journal.

2.   Journal editor sends the paper to other scholars for anonymous review of quality and originality:

  • Was the work done properly?
  • Does the research contribute something new?
  • Is the subject matter
    appropriate for this journal?
  • Is the paper written well enough for other scholars to understand it?

3.   Editor uses the reviewers' comments and recommendations to accept the paper or to reject it.  Most accepted papers require revisions to become a scholarly article.



Still Can't Tell the Difference?

Limit your results to Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Screen shot of the Advanced Search page.  Please click on the Peer review check box to limit your search results.

Image from Sociological Abstracts. 


Screen shot of a list of results from OneSearch+. In this database, use the limiters located on the left side to limit your results to Scholary (Peer reviewed) Journals

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