How to tell if an article is peer-reviewed.

Sep 5, 2019 by

Academic publishing is the process of the hypothesis generation, testing the hypothesis, gathering data and subjecting evidence. Research papers are significant in academic careers, which partly depend on a number of the publication. It is one of the main criteria for funding organizations and universities in the applicants’ selection process. To make articles more credible, more objective and even more acclaimed, they must get through to a peer-review process, which confirms the article’s objectivity and credibility. What are the peer-reviewed articles then, and how to identify the journal which articles have been peer-reviewed?

What is a peer-reviewed article?

If you are still wondering, what is a peer-reviewed article, the definition could be described in a very simple way. Peer-review is a type of academic work evaluation and the only widely accepted method for research validation. Also known as refereeing, peer-review is the final step of the scientific paper evaluation before publishing from a professional. The peer-review step helps to improve the quality of published research and increases networking possibilities within research communities. In other words, a peer-reviewed article is written and reviewed by experts before being published in the journal to ensure its quality. Such publication is considered more reliable, scientifically valid and reaches reasonable conclusions.

What are the different types of peer-review?

The peer-review types depend on whether names of the reviewers or authors are hidden from each other and the public. Following we have listed different types of peer-review:

  1. Single-blind review

The most common type of the peer-review and the traditional method of the academic editing process is a single-blind review. In this type of peer-review, the author is unaware of the names of the reviewers. The main advantage of single-blind review is that the peers are not influenced by the authors.

2. Double-blind review

In the model of double-blind review, both reviewer and the author are anonymous. Thus, author anonymity limits reviewer bias, for example, based on an author’s gender, country of origin, academic status or previous publication history. Besides, articles written by prestigious authors are considered based on the content of their papers, rather than their reputation. However, sometimes, the experienced reviewer can identify the author by their writing style, subject matter or self-citation, which complicates the maintenance of total author anonymity.

3. Triple-blind review

In such type of review, peers are anonymous and the author’s identity is unknown to both the reviewers and the editor. Articles are anonymized at the submission stage to minimize any potential bias towards the author. This model of academic review is pretty rare, due to complexities involved with anonymizing articles/authors to this level. Moreover, there is still a possibility for the editor and/or reviewers to correctly identify the authors from their style, subject matter, and citation patterns.

4. Open review

In this model of review, both the reviewer and author are known to each other during the peer-review process. This type of review is considered as the best option to prevent malicious comments, stop plagiarism, prevent reviewers from following their agenda, and encourage open, honest reviewing. However, there are those, who believe that politeness or fear of retribution may cause a reviewer to withhold or tone down criticism.

The process of peer-review article

The academic peer-review aims to provide feedback on submitting scholar’s ideas and research techniques, to ensure the qualitative and credible publication.

The process of peer-review starts with a scientist submitting his article to a peer-review journal. After that, the quality of the article is evaluated by the panel of the academic reviewers or referees in that field. The reviews decide whether the article can be published with or without editing or whether it is not suitable for publishing in their journal at all. Every potential publication must undergo the following process, mediated by the reviewers, journal managers, and panel of experts:

  1. After the research is submitted, journal editor forwards the article to the experts in the field. The referees, who specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, are considered to be the author’s peers.
  2. The peers check the accuracy of the manuscript and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures.
  3. The reviewers might suggest revisions. Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, the articles lacking scholarly validity and rigor get rejected.

How to check if an article is peer-reviewed.

In the scientific community, peer-reviewed sources are more credible than non-peer-reviewed ones. Sometimes the scholars question themselves on how to know if an article is a peer-reviewed. Not all scientific manuscripts are refereed, therefore, it is important to know know how and where to find peer-reviewed articles. Whether you are researcher, student, or a journal editor, here are a few techniques which help to sort peer-reviewed articles quickly!

1. Limiting a database search to peer-reviewed journals only

First of all, most university databases allow limiting the search to return only those journals articles which had been peer-reviewed.

2. Using the database of authoritative source

Using the database of the authoritative source of bibliographic information of academic and scholarly journals to determine if the journal is indicated as being peer-reviewed.

3. Using Google Scholar

Another option is typing journal name into Google search box plus the information for authors in quotation marks. It will help to find the information for submitting authors, which later can be scanned for any mention of the peer-review process. Google Scholar is usually not very helpful in finding peer-reviewed articles as the search results it provides are usually only abstracts of the entire publication.

Many online or free access journals contain articles which have not been peer-reviewed.

4. Physically examining the publication to see if it is peer-reviewed

As another option, it is possible to examine the journal physically or look at additional pages of the journal online to determine if it is peer-reviewed.

When you questioning yourself how do you know if an article is a peer-reviewed, you should consider the following:

  • the article has been published in a scholarly journal
  • content with a serious, thoughtful tone
  • usually, but not always, a peer-reviewed article’s length is more than 10 pages
  • abstract on the first page
  • well-defined structure with headings, such as Introduction, Literature review, and Conclusion
  • citations throughout and the reference list at the end
  • credentialed authors

The articles that have been peer-reviewed are more reliable and have a higher quality than those which had not been peer-reviewed.

VTeX solution for the process of peer-review

One of the leaders in publication-related technology research, VteX company, offers a peer-review system – Electronic Journal Management System (EJMS), designed by the core team of the company to increase the efficiency of the peer-review process.The system contains rich options of reporting and history keeping and allows to increase the peer-review process productivity, which allows meeting the ever-changing content requirements and specific needs of publishers and authors.

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