In academic publishing, the goal of peer review is to assess the quality of articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Before an article is deemed appropriate to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, it must undergo the following process:
The author of the article must submit it to the journal editor who forwards the article to experts in the field. Because the reviewers specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (hence “peer review”).
These impartial reviewers are charged with carefully evaluating the quality of the submitted manuscript.
The peer reviewers check the manuscript for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures.
If appropriate, they suggest revisions. If they find the article lacking in scholarly validity and rigor, they reject it.
Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication exemplify the best research practices in a field.
Scholarly vs. Popular Articles
This 3 minute video from the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University talks about the differences between popular and scholarly articles.