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Finding Full-Text, Peer Reviewed Psychology Articles: What Does Peer Reviewed Mean?

This guide should help you in finding full-text, peer reviewed articles from JCCC library databases. If you continue to have difficulty in finding appropriate articles, call the Reference desk at 469-3178 for more assistance.

What Does Peer Reviewed Mean?

Essentially procedural, peer review is an evaluation concept applied in many contexts, but especially to that of scholarly publishing.  It is a process requirement that journals use to ensure articles they publish represent the best, quality scholarship currently available.  

News content and general magazines, though acceptable of writing, are not peer review sources.  As description, variant terms such as "peer reviewed", or "refereed" or "professional" or "scientific" are labels often used to describe journals and their contents, covering wide-ranging subject disciplines.

When a manuscript is submitted to a peer reviewed journal within a subject discipline, the editors in turn send it out to other scholars/practitioners in that field (aka, the author's peers) to get their opinions on quality, accuracy, validity of the scholarship, and its appropriateness to the journal's scope and purpose.  Just how "good" are the author(s) and what they are investigating?  Their review may be critical, suggesting content modifications or denoting flaws in methodology. By editorial consensus the article is published.  Getting a peer reviewed article published can be time consuming but it is considered a critical part of academic tenure and one's scholarly standing in their discipline.

For "end users", peer review is a "branding of creditability", indicating sound research design and quality of published findings as significant contribution to the subject matter; many "egos and reputations" are thus protected.   Authors gain national recognition, acceptance, and academic validation.  Equally important, the reputation of both the journal itself and relevant professional society/association are upheld as a trustworthy publishing entity and communication medium for any subject discipline.  They will not impart inferior or flawed scholarship and content.