Peer-reviewed articles have been read and evaluated by qualified experts within the appropriate field before publication.
This means that scholars with expertise and knowledge about the article's content are reviewing the research data, methods and results before making their recommendation to the journals' editors. The editor then makes the final decision to publish the article or not.
Common Elements of a Peer-Reviewed Research Article
A peer-reviewed research article generally includes the following sections:
Abstract - includes a brief summary of the research and is typically followed by author credentials.
Introduction - the introduction will contain information about the authors' intentions for the article, why they did the research, and it will include the hypothesis or research objectives.
Methods - a description of the research methods used (survey, focus groups, statistical analysis, regression analysis, etc.); may also describe limitations with the selected method.
Results - scientific description of the findings.
Discussion - discusses the research in detail.
Conclusion - summarizes the findings and makes suggestions for future use of research.
Appendix/Appendices - may or may not be part of the article
References and/or bibliography
Confirming that a Journal is Peer-reviewed
Want to find out if a particular journal is peer reviewed? You can look up the journal title (not the article title) in UlrichsWeb Global Serials Directory.
Once you find an entry for the journal title in UlrichsWeb, look at the symbols on the left and see if there is a symbol for a referee shirt like those worn by sports referees. If you find this symbol that means the journal is refereed, which is another way of saying it is peer reviewed.