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The process of peer review applies to articles published in periodicals. (Remember that periodicals are publications such as magazines, scholarly journals, trade journals, newspapers, etc.) In general only the editorial boards for one type of periodical--the scholarly journal--put their articles through the peer-review process. Here's a good definition of peer-reviewed journals from the Library Glossary at Gibson D. Lewis Library at the University of North Texas:
Peer-reviewed journals are those that require submitted articles to be reviewed and approved by a group of experts in the field prior to publication. This process helps to ensure that the articles selected for publication represent a high standard of scholarship.
With this definition in mind, it's easy to understand why the peer-review process is crucial for academia. When scholars submit research articles for publication, they submit them to peer-reviewed journals. If the panel of reviewers for one of those journals evaluates their article, and decides to accept it, the article will then be considered among the best scholarly work in that field. That's why researchers of all stripes consider peer-reviewed journal articles to be the most authoritative sources around. (Authors who publish peer-reviewed articles, in addition to gaining prestige in their fields, improve their chances of achieving tenure.)
Before moving on, watch this five-minute video on the peer-review process from North Carolina State Libraries.
Many of the periodical databases the Dulaney-Browne Library subscribes to are EBSCOhost databases. Master one EBSCOhost database and you're close to mastering them all. Master several different article databases, and you'll quickly become a proficient acquirer of articles. One of the best features of EBSCOhost is the ability to narrow results using the subject headings on the right-hand side. (Remember subject headings from the Finding Books module?) Every time you narrow results with a subject heading, you limit the results to periodical articles on that specific topic.
Below is a video on searching EBSCOhost from the library homepage. Answer the following questions on scratch paper as you watch.
Let's try another EBSCOhost search. This time we'll search more than one database at the same time and access a specific record. Answer the following questions on scratch paper as you watch. (The quiz is just around the corner!)