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What does peer reviewed mean?

296 views   |   Last updated on Jul 21, 2014   

 

When you're asked to find peer reviewed sources, what you're essentially looking for are books and articles that have been reviewed by experts for quality and accuracy.

For example:

  • An article is written by one of your Biology professors and sent to a reputable journal. 
  • Before being published, though, it needs to be looked over to make sure that everything is in order.
  • So, the journal editor sends the article to a number of your professors peers (other experts in the same or similar fields).
  • These would likely be other scientists (biologists, biochemists, etc.), who would look for:
    • Accuracy of information
    • Quality of research
    • Originality
    • etc.
  • This review would result in one of the following:
    • The article is successfully published!
    • The article is sent back for revisions/corrections.
    • The article is rejected.

Ultimately, the peer review process ensures that you get the highest quality reserach possible.
 
See our Scholarly v. Popular tutorial for more information about the peer review process.