Most college instructors will want you to use authoritative primary resources to complete course assignments, to examine the complexities of a paper topic using the best scholarship available, or to formulate a reliable argument using research-based analysis where findings support the conclusions. Where can you find that kind of quality information? You will find all that and more in peer-reviewed articles.
In general, here is how peer review works:
- All academic, professional and even occupational areas have one or, more often, several different associated journals.
- Experts doing research and analysis in these various academic or professional fields submit the results of their research to the editor of the journal in the form of an article.
- Editors then forward the articles to other outside experts in the same field for a careful review, or vetting, of the quality of the submitted research articles.
- Articles are then included for publication based on the merits of the research and analysis, validity of the data, conclusions drawn, and originality of the research.
- You can consider the peer-review process the best scholarly or professional effort to publish accurate research and compelling analysis. Scientific discoveries and other breakthroughs in knowledge often first appear in peer-reviewed journal articles.
It’s easy as 1-2-3. The most reliable way to find peer-reviewed articles is to go to the CSN Libraries webpage:
- From the CSN Libraries webpage, click on the green Find Articles button.
- Click the box “limit to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles.” Enter your keyword search in the search box.
- General databases like ProQuest Central and EBSCO Complete also give you the option to limit your search results to peer-reviewed articles.
- Individual journal websites will often describe their particular peer-review process, for example: https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/journal-of-dental-research/journal201925#submission-guidelines
Be aware that every journal has a reputation within a field based on the quality of their published research, its impartiality, and originality. When in doubt about a particular publication’s reputation, ask your instructor or one of your CSN librarians for a recommendation.