What does peer-review mean?
Have you ever done a peer-review exercise in an English class? You read your classmate’s essay and make recommendations on the content, grammar, and language. Peer review for academic journals and books is a lot like that.
Peer-review is a process of judging or refereeing articles before they are published. Articles and books are evaluated by a panel of experts in the field; the author’s peers. The peer-reviewers make sure that:
- the work is accurate
- the research methods used are sound and up to the standards of the field
- the research contributes new information to the field
- the research is free of bias or conflicts of interest
Peer-review is completed to guarantee that the work meets the highest standards for academic research. Although peer-reviewed articles and books are not guaranteed to be absolutely correct, they have more authority than popular articles.
While all peer-reviewed sources are scholarly sources, not all scholarly sources are peer-reviewed. Some scholarly sources are reviewed by editors or an editorial board who are generally also experts in the field of study.