Did you know that it's Peer Review Week?! Your next question may be "Just what is Peer Review?" and "Why does Peer Review matter?" I'm glad you asked! Here are several resources to help you learn more about Peer Review.
What is Peer Review? To begin a Peer-Reviewed article is a scholarly article written by scholars for other scholars. A Peer-Reviewed article is scholarly AND has been reviewed by a board of other experts in the field to ensure the article is accurate and meets the qualifications of a scholarly article in the field. Peer-reviewers often give feedback indicating how to improve the article before resubmission to a journal.
Why does Peer Review matter? Peer Review ensures that the literature in a field maintains a certain level of quality and can be trusted.
What about Pre-Prints? You may have seen a growing number of Pre-Prints or Pre-publication articles that are posted. These articles are helpful in that information can be quickly distributed to others. However, Pre-Prints have not gone through the Peer Review process yet. There have been several cases where articles posted as Pre-Prints have not been published in a final, official form as they failed their Peer Review and needed significant re-writing or the study was pulled completely.
To learn more about how to tell if an article is scholarly or Peer-Reviewed, check out our Scholarly Articles and Research Methodologies guides.