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Peer review

Peer review of articles

​Within academia it is common practice to inspect texts before publication, from student essays to scholarly journal articles. This review process differs based on the type of text and publication. The most comprehensive and esteemed version of review is called peer review.

Peer review is used by journals that are known as academic, scholarly or scientific. These journals have a board of referees (or reviewers) who are experts and experienced researchers within their respective field. They evaluate the quality of the submitted articles based on scientific rigor, content and language. Together with the journal editor, they also judge whether the article fits within the subject area of the journal. The result of the review determines if the article is accepted for publication, if the authors are encouraged to revise the text or if the article is rejected.

Publishing articles according to the peer review procedure is required for a journal to be considered scientific. In order to avoid bias, the author and referee of the article are blinded to one another, i.e. their identity is kept anonymous.

Journals with a peer review system may include either refereed articles exclusively or a mix of refereed and non-refereed articles. Non-refereed articles might include book reviews, debate articles or commentaries.

Other forms of review

While normally only scholarly articles go through the peer review process, other types of academic publications are also examined before publication.

Anthologies and handbooks which have chapters written by researchers are reviewed by both an editor and the publisher. Research reports are often inspected by colleagues within the same research field, and conference contributions are reviewed by those responsible for holding the conference. Dissertations are reviewed by an academic supervisor and opponent, and this procedure is mirrored in the examination of student essays and thesis work.