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TEE 225 Engineering Ethics: Peer Review

What does Peer Review Mean?

A peer-reviewed (or refereed) article has been read, evaluated, and approved for publication by scholars with expertise and knowledge related to the article’s subjects and contents.  Peer-reviewing helps insure that articles provide accurate, verifiable, and valuable contributions to a field of study.

  • The peer-review process is anonymous, to prevent personal biases and favoritism from affecting the outcomes.  Reviewers read manuscripts that omit the names of the author(s).  When the reviewers’ feedback is given to the author(s), the reviewers’ names are omitted.
  • Editors of journals select reviewers who are experts in the subjects addressed in the article.  Reviewers consider the clarity and validity of the research and whether it offers original and important knowledge to a particular field of study.

Clues an article is peer-reviewed

Many records have accurate icons to show their peer-review status. 

Peer reviewed articles will often include statements about the peer review process

Image showing peer review information on an academic article.

Peer reviewed articles will always include citations of work that influenced and informed the methods and conclusions reached by the article. 

How do I know if an article is peer reviewed?

Step 1:  Check the peer review status of the JOURNAL.

  • Search for your title in Ulrichsweb,a database of information about journals and magazines.
  • When you find your journal, look for a "referee shirt" symbol.  The symbol will appear next to any journal title that is peer reviewed and/or refereed (interchangeable terms).

Step 2:  If the JOURNAL is peer reviewed, then assess the ARTICLE.

  • Is it a full research article?  Then you can be confident that your article is peer reviewed.
  • If your article is a short news brief, an editorial, a letter to the editor, or a re-print of a conference proceeding, it is generally not peer reviewed. 

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