Peer Review Described
When Academic Articles are published they are sometimes put through a process called peer review. Before an article is published in a journal it is checked by a team of experts in the field. They make sure that the facts of the article are correct. In a scientific article the experts will review the experiment to see if the methods, analysis and conclusions make sense. Experts will also make recommendations on the wording the authors used.
Many articles published since 2008 include the peer review dates on the first page in a prominent location. Databases have filters that will try to ensure articles found by your search are peer reviewed. These filters are iffy at best and should not be relied upon.
Follow these rules to determine the likelihood that your article is peer reviewed.
1. Scan the first and last pages of the article. Look for wording like Reviewed, Revised, Accepted etc.
This article was peer reviewed beginning when the article was submitted in April 2011 and accepted for publishing 3 months later in July.
Some authors give thanks to reviewers in an acknowledgements section. Check the last pages or the first pages.
Beware: not every article in a peer reviewed journal is peer reviewed! Editorials and guest opinion articles are typically published without review.