Peer-reviewed articles are an important part of keeping up with current trends and research in any academic field. Scholarly journals mainly publish articles that have been reviewed by a group of peers in whichever field the journal or article topic is written on. Knowing the importance of peer-reviewed articles can help you when you're doing research or thinking about becoming a professor at certain colleges and universities.
Requirement for Research
Oftentimes, research projects depend partially on recent peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals. These journals not only represent current trends and issues within a given field, but also the most up-to-date research. As a result, these journal articles often contain more up-to-date material than most textbooks. Peer- reviewed articles make great sources for research papers and assignments that require references and citations.
Most non-scholarly sources, such as more traditional magazines or Internet websites, do not have peer-reviewed articles by other researchers and professionals in the field or topic area. As a result, these sources are considered to be less credible and scholarly, and are therefore not as suitable for research assignments.
Importance for Professionals
Getting published in a peer-reviewed journal is a great way for new teaching professionals at a college or university to gain recognition and standing with peers within their field as well as within their university. Depending on the structure and requirements for tenured status, professors may have to publish a certain number of articles in a peer-reviewed journal. This ensures that professors not only are doing their job in gaining recognition for the university, but also are staying on top of current trends and research in their field.
Process of Peer Review
Usually an article that appears in a peer-reviewed journal will require several months, if not a year, of research, analyzing data, writing, editing and reviewing. The peer-review process can go through two or three rounds of revisions before reaching a final decision about whether to accept the article for the journal. Each journal has different rules regarding the rejection of an article and resubmission. If the peer-review process determines that an article cannot be accepted for publication in a journal, then the author(s) of the article may seek to have it published in another journal.
Objective Research Base
One of the main reasons for peer-reviewed articles is to present a more objective research base. Every author has biases, regardless of how hard they may try to remain objective. Every peer reviewer has biases too. Having a diversity of opinions can help to neutralize the biases that may come up during research and help to keep the findings of the article objective, thus presenting the best possible research for others to build upon.