When you are determining whether or not the article you found is a peer-reviewed article, you should consider the following.
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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:
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.
Attribution: Much of the information about the the peer-review process was used with permission from the awesome librarians at the Lloyd Sealy Library at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Look through the images and notes below to learn more about the various parts common to a scholarly article
Read the abstract to determine if an article will be relevant, helpful, and comprehensible.
The abstract is more than a summary. It maps out the article with a brief overview of each section. The abstract may present the article's claim, purpose, methodology, and conclusions.
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If the article is a research study, the article will include the methodology and findings.
The methodology lays out how the study was done. Check to see if the study was conducted with many or few subjects, over a long or short period of time, if subjects represent a broad or narrow cross-section of stakeholders, and if controls make results reliable.
The results section presents the raw data gathered in the study. Seeing the data helps one determine if the conclusions are supported by the data.
The discussion and conclusion sections are where the authors interpret their data and draw conclusions about what they did and didn't learn, as well as next steps for research. Read these sections closely for insights and quotes you might cite and include in your essay.
The references section of scholarly articles (and books) document the works upon, and sometimes against, which the current study was conducted.
Use the references section as a research tool and "mine it" for relevant works you might look for.
Source: "How Library Stuff Works: Scholarly vs. Popular Sources" by McMaster Libraries, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.Learn about the differences between scholarly and popular sources and how to identify them when researching your topic.