Western Libraries

The Peer Review Process

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Script of Video:

Striving for A's? Information to support your essay can be found in many different places. Consider the source.  Do you have the best sources for your essay?

Articles published in peer reviewed journals are the most indepth, authoritative sources.  Using them will please your professor. and will improve your chances of getting a good grade.

Peer Review  is a quality control process used by journals in order to ensure that the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available.

Peer reviewed scholarly journals contain articles written by, and addressed to, experts in a specific discipline. They contain original research, and communicate this information to other researchers.   To demonstrate accuracy and to assist other researchers, peer reviewed articles always cite their sources in the form of footnotes, endnotes and / or bibliographies.

When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the journal's editors send the article to other scholars in the same research field -- that is, the author's peers.  The peers look at the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, and its appropriateness for the journal.  To ensure integrity of the process, the reviewers' identities may be kept secret from the author, and the author's identity may be kept secret from the reviewers. Based on the reviewers' feedback, the article may be accepted, accepted pending suggested revisions, or rejected.

You can't always tell a peer reviewed journal by it's cover.   To determine whether or not a journal uses the peer review process, check the journal's website, Ulrich's Periodicals Directory Online, or ask a librarian.  [Note: URL in drawing is out-of-date. Contact the library here: www.lib.uwo.ca/contact ]