What is meant by peer review in scientific journals?

Peer review in Journal Articles

What is a Peer reviewed Journal article?

Peer review is a means of quality control for scholarly journal articles and books. It is the evaluation process of academic, scientific and professional work done by other individuals working in a similar field. For general periodical magazines (Atlantic, Business Week, Discover, Psychology Today) an editorial manager, typically a professional Journalist audits each article ensuring accuracy and appropriateness for that publication. In scholarly or academic journals, articles are generally reviewed by both an editor and a selected panel of professional scholars who is expert in the field. These journal articles are called peer-reviewed/ refereed/ juried/ blind reviewed. So, journal articles that are selected for publication for their quality by a panel of reviewers are referred to as Peer reviewed Journal article.

In general, peer audit/ peer review is a scholastic term for quality control. Each article published in a peer-reviewed journal is inspected by a panel of reviewers who are specialists on the article’s topic. The reviewers look into the legitimate utilization of research techniques, noteworthiness of the paper’s commitment to the current literature, publication gauges, and mix of past writers’ work on the subject in any discourse (including references termed as ‘Citation’). Papers published in these journals are master affirmed and are the most legitimate sources of information for college-level research papers. Sometimes, the articles published in academic Journals are also referred as scholarly journals. 

How to tell if a journal is peer reviewed? 

There are number of ways in which you can find if a journal is peer-reviewed or not. The most prevalent method that editors and reviewers use in editorial peer review is:

  • Checking the journal itself for availability as paper copy
  • Check the journal publisher’s website
  • Check the title in Ulrichsweb.com (from the BSC Library Database list)
  • Use extraordinary components in journal databases to sort out peer-reviewed or scholarly articles

Peer Review Process

Image Source: Berkeley University of California

Types of Peer Review 

Peer review is a screening mechanism to weed out bad science and help authors improve the quality of their research. Every journal follows different benchmarks to peer review the article submissions they receive. Two common peer review technique adopted by most journals are single or double blinded peer review types. Let us examine the differences among the editorial peer review systems in detail.

Single-blind peer review

In a single-blind review, authors are unaware of who reviewed their paper, but reviewers are aware of the authors’ identity. While this strategy accommodates to reduce chances of partialness or conflict of interest, there is a possibility that making the author’s identity known could influence the review.

Double-blind peer review

In a double-blind review both the author and peer reviewers are not aware of each other. The risk here is that it may sometimes allow reviewers to give inaccurate or irresponsible feedback to authors.

Open peer review

In an open peer review, identities of both author and reviewers are known. Likewise, this system allows the peer reviewer comments as well as authors’ responses to be published along with the final manuscript.

Post-publication peer review

The post-publication peer review is a relatively new approach adopted by some open access journals in an attempt to overcome the limitations of conventional forms of peer review. As the name proposes, in this kind of review, reviewers evaluate original copy after it has been published on an open access platform. Here, the identities of author and reviewer are known (published) and so is the peer review evaluation of the manuscript. This system allows reviewers to take credit for their reviews.

Why does peer review matter?

Peer reviewed material meets the standards of the academic community.  It is recognized by scholars and experts as contributing to the field of knowledge on a given theme. There are varies reasons why you may wish to utilize as well as further develop peer assessment in your modules.

Peer review - Peer reviewed journal articles

The primary components were highlighted by Phil Race as follows:

  • Students are doing it already in different ways.
  • Students will find the opportunity to ascertain more about evaluation culture.
  • Lecturers have less time to evaluate than before.
  • Learning is improved when students have contributed to their marking criteria.
  • Assessing is a decent approach to accomplish deep learning.
  • Students can learn from the accomplishments of others.
  • Students can learn from other’s mistakes. 

Benefits of peer assessment 

As educators, we have access to various resources that help in outlining lessons, assessments and remediation. The same is true with a peer assessment. There are no “cookie cutter” approaches to these assessments. The assessments are not limited to multiple-choice answers, short answers or essay assessments. Instead peer assessments include the usage of a variety of assessments and exercises intended to determine student mastery in an effort to guide instruction.

Students generally have a good understanding of one another and peer assessments allow them to collaborate while determining each other’s areas of mastery and weakness. By doing so, they discover ways to overcome their obstacles and address deficiencies in ways that work best for them, instead of through prescribed interventions provided by an educator. Because students speak the same “language,” they have a tendency to tune in and take feedback from their peers. This sort of evaluation may be as discourse sheets, online chats, swapping papers or even a face-to-face conversation in class.

The main aim of self and peer assessment relies on the 3 points:

  • Exposure to broad range of perspectives
  • Increase student responsibility and autonomy for deep learning
  • Develop self assessment skills and engender timely feedback 

Where do you find peer reviewed journals? 

Here is the rundown of leading sites, where you can find peer reviewed journal articles.


JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.


EBSCOhost is another leading research revelation service which provides scholarly journals, full-content articles, magazines, e-books, etc

Project MUSE

Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social science content for the scholarly community.  MUSE is the trusted source of complete, full-text versions of scholarly journals from many of the world’s leading university presses and scholarly societies, with over 120 publishers currently taking part.


ProQuest powers explore in academic, corporate, government, public and school libraries around the globe with unique content.

Literary Reference Center

Literary Reference Center is a full-text database that consolidates information from major respected reference works, books, and literary journals in addition to unique substance from EBSCO Publishing. It provides users with a broad spectrum of information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines.

JSTOR and Project MUSE just contain scholarly and peer reviewed journal. In other sites, you will require to check the option to pick only peer-reviewed articles.

List of peer reviewed education journals

We tried to come up with some of the peer reviewed educational journal lists. Few of them are updated recently, few are old (updated couple of years ago). You can find the Peer reviewed scholarly journals list here: 

How is article peer reviewed and taken for publication?

Peer Review Process Flow

Image Source: Research Information Network

I hope this article would have given you a clear picture on what a peer reviewed journal article mean. If you want me to add more information, please revert in the comment section.

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