Peer reviewing is an essential part of the scientific publishing process. It is necessary in order to ensure the accuracy and quality of information presented in the peer-reviewed article. The peer-review cycle is comprised of four points, which are as follows (Fernandez, 2012):
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- Writing and submitting an article for review
- Editorial analysis and consistency checking
- Peer-reviewing process
- Publishing of the article
Each of these points is important for different reasons, as without them the cycle itself would be broken. In other words, without each of the steps, it would be impossible to complete the process. It is impossible to review an article that is not written and formatted according to the requirements of the journal. At the same time, the peer-reviewing process is made pointless if there are no means of publishing an article. Editors are different from peer-reviewers in a few ways. First, while peer-reviewers are typically specialists in the field, editors are often not. Their job is to conduct an initial screening of the article, ensuring that it conforms to the subject and format of the journal, and making a decision to publish or refuse an article. The reviewers, on the other hand, only provide recommendations and criticism in order to improve the article, and spot any inconsistencies that are present in the paper.
In order to determine if an article is peer-reviewed or not, one must look at its source. Typically, peer-reviewed articles can be found in books and scientific journals dedicated to a particular subject. Newspapers, websites, and other sources typically do not contain peer-reviewed information. One of the best ways to look for peer-reviewed data is to browse through dedicated databases, such as MEDLINE, CINAHL, and others.
Fernandez, C. (2012). A day in a life of a scientific reviewer. Web.