Skip to Main Content

ESW 206: Basic Nutrition

What is a Peer Reviewed Article?

Many academic articles are reviewed by experts in the field prior to publication

Published in academic journals: Professors and researchers share their latest work with professionals in their disciplines via academic journals. Journal editors choose research to publish that has the greatest impact in those fields.

The process: Prior to publication, experts in the author's field will review the article. These "peer reviewers" rigorously read and analyze the research and the writing for errors and missing information. After the review, the author is given the opportunity to correct any problems or to withdraw the article from consideration for publication.

Why? This peer-review process is valued by professionals in the field – from psychiatrists and doctors to professors and therapists -- because they rely on academic journal articles to stay current with the latest developments in their fields.

Magazines are not academic: In contrast, popular publications, such as magazines, are written in a more conversational style for the general public. Articles often include eye-catching titles and content designed to sell the publications and attract advertisers. These articles are often written by reporters who talk to the experts, then interpret the technical language of the field in a way everyone can understand them.

For example: For example, the popular magazine Psychology Today published an article titled "Revenge of the Introverts" with tips on what not to say to introverts. The peer-reviewed Journal of Personality published "Explaining the Extraversion/Positive Effect Relation: Sociability Cannot Account for Extraverts' Greater Happiness," including 30 pages of research data and charts.

Note: Not every article in every academic journal is peer-reviewed. However, when searching for articles via the library Web site, you may choose to select peer-reviewed articles as part of your search.

What to look for...

Here are other things to look for in peer-reviewed articles:

  • Research data is often shown in charts and tables.
  • Information is cited, usually with many references or footnotes.
  • The authors' credentials are included.
  • The language may be appropriately technical to the field of study.
  • The printed pages are generally plain and often have little or no advertising.