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What Is a Scholarly Or Peer Reviewed Journal?

Scholarly and professional journals feature articles written by researchers and practitioners in a particular subject area. The authors often have particular specialties. Peer groups of researchers, scholars and professionals within a specific discipline are the audience for scholarly literature.

Peer review is a well-accepted indicator of quality scholarship. It is the process by which an author's peers read a paper submitted for publication. A number of recognized researchers in the field will evaluate a manuscript and recommend its publication, revision, or rejection. Articles accepted for publication through a peer review process implicitly meet the discipline's expected standards of expertise.

Articles in some scholarly and professional journals are not peer-reviewed, but are selected by an editor or board. Standards of scholarship in such journals are often equal or comparable to those of peer-reviewed publications, although this is not always the case.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified by their editorial statements or instructions to authors and in sources such as Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. In Ulrich's, the Refereed Icon icon indicates a "refereed" (peer-reviewed) journal. Ulrich's is also available in print (Call no.: Z6941 .U5 ; latest edition at Main Reference Desk).