What is peer review? Peer review is a formal process whereby articles are submitted for scrutiny and appraisal by recognised academics or authorities in the appropriate field.
These academics or experts may recommend that the paper be accepted as it stands, or that specific revisions be made, or that the paper be rejected for publication. This process of refereeing is known as peer review.
Why are peer reviewed journal articles important? Peer reviewed articles are authoritative because they have been assessed prior to publication by specialists or experts within academic and/or industry fields. Your lecturer may ask you to read and reference only peer reviewed journal articles in your assignments.
How can you determine if an article is peer reviewed? Some databases, such as Medline, have only peer reviewed journals. Many other databases, such as Multisearch and, allow you to filter your search results to only include peer reviewed articles.
If you are unsure if an article is from a peer reviewed journal you can check using Ulrich's international periodicals directory.
By typing in a journal's name into the search box in Ulrich's international periodicals directory, you will be given a summary of information about the journal including whether it is peer reviewed/ refereed.
Refereed items are marked with an icon which is a representation of a 'referees shirt'.