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Peer review is the process by which scholars critically appraise each other's work. It is intended to ensure a high level of scholarship in a journal and to improve the quality and readability of a manuscript. "Peer reviewed" and "refereed" are interchangeable terms that both refer to this process.
How it works:
When the manuscript of an article is submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, independent experts are asked to read and comment on the manuscript. If approved by the reviewers, the manuscript is accepted for publication as an article in the journal.
How do I tell?
How do you know if a journal article is peer-reviewed? Some databases allow you to limit to peer-reviewed articles; for others, you'll need to need to look up the journal title (not the article title) in Ulrich's. Check out our peer review guide for step-by-step instructions on this process.