Answered By: Emma Clausen
Last Updated: Nov 27, 2018     Views: 6

You may be required to use peer-reviewed sources for an assignment. Peer-review is a process that assesses the articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Before an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it goes through a process like the following:

  1. The author submits the article to an editor who forwards it to experts in the field. Because the reviewers specialize in the same area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (that's why it's called “peer-review”).

  2. The reviewers evaluate the quality of the article by looking at accuracy and validity of the research methodology and procedures.

  3. The reviewers may suggest revisions, or they may choose not to publish.

​Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication exemplify the best research practices in a field. 

NOTE: Not everything published in a peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article. These journals often include letters to the editor, commentaries, and/or book reviews which are not considered peer-reviewed articles. If you need help, ask a librarian