A Peer reviewed journal is one in which articles are submitted to researchers who are experts in the field and its content and references are evaluated for accuracy before they are published.
Peer-reviewed journal articles will have the following characteristics:
- Abstract: Usually will include an "abstract" at the beginning of the article
- Authority: Author(s) identity and affiliation
- Length: Usually are lengthy articles
- Scientific Format: May follow a scientific format (Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion)
- References: References included the end of the article
Definition of four key terms which essentially mean the same:
1. Peer-Reviewed: Part of the publication process for scholarly publications in which a group of experts examines a document to determine whether it is worthy of publication. Journals and other publications use a peer review process — usually arranged so that reviewers do not know who the author of the document is — to assess articles for quality and relevance
2. Refereed Journal: A publication for which every submission is screened through a peer review process. Refereed publications are considered authoritative because experts have reviewed the material in advance of publication to determine its quality
3. Scholarly Journal: A journal that is primarily addressed to scholars, often focusing on a particular discipline. Scholarly journals are often refereed publications and for some purposes may be considered more authoritative than magazines. Articles in scholarly journals usually are substantial in length, use specialized language, contain footnotes or endnotes, and are written by academic researchers rather than by journalists.
4. Academic Journals: An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transparent forums for the presentation, scrutiny and discussion of research. They are usually peer-reviewed or refereed.