You may see or have been told to look for journals and journal articles which are ‘peer reviewed’. But what does that mean? Peer review, also known as refereeing, is a collaborative process that means articles submitted to a to a journal are evaluated and by independent experts within the same field of research- their ‘peers’.
They evaluate and assess articles and provide authors with feedback to improve their work and provides valuable information to the editor to assess the paper’s suitability for publication in the journal.
Peer review can help to alert authors of any gaps in their research and also should ensure their work is original and meets any relevant ethics standards.
Many databases (such as Academic Search Premier) do give you a way to limit your results to peer –reviewed journals whereas others, (such as Medline) don’t need to as the majority (99%) of their articles are always peer reviewed.
SOLAR often indicates it like this:
If you would like to know more about peer review, watch this short video extract with the lovely Brian Cox- you will need to log in to view this with your network username and password: