Glossary: Peer-Review


The peer-review process is used in the publication of scholarly sources (books or journals). It means that before something is published, it is reviewed by one or more experts in the field to ensure that the research is "sound", the results make sense, and the paper or book is worthy of publication (original and significant).

A free website may not undergo peer-review, because anyone can publish on the web without credentials.  Most magazines have articles written by staff rather than researchers and these do not undergo a peer review. However, some journals do not use the peer-review process, yet they may still be considered scholarly.

The peer-review process does not always eliminate bias or error and a peer-reviewed article can still be controversial. However, subject experts have judged it to be original, valid, and significant.

For more information, see our webpage on "Scholarly Vs. Popular Sources".

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