When it comes to credible sources of information, peer reviewed articles set the standard. That’s because the peer review process is designed to make credibility a priority. This video explains the concept of peer review and how it applies to research and what we understand about the world. It teaches:
- Why credible, trustworthy information is essential
- Why articles published in peer reviewed journals are more trustworthy
- How the peer review process works
- How “peers” evaluate articles and ensure integrity
- What makes peer reviewed articles different from other sources
Researching a topic can be difficult when we have to sift through a huge amount of information. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when you don’t know what information to trust.
A key skill in research is efficiently separating the trustworthy information from the biased or misleading information. One way to do this is to use articles from peer reviewed journals. To understand why this matters, we have to look at how trustworthy information makes it to the public.
Think about it like this… On one side we have researchers working hard to understand or develop something new, like a drug. On the other side is the public who could benefit from new findings and discoveries. The researchers want their findings to be shared with the public and have a positive impact. To accomplish this, their work must be deemed trustworthy and credible.
The problem is that some research is done poorly and could mislead or harm people. So, we need a way to ensure that the most credible research reaches the public. This job is often accomplished by professional or peer reviewed journals that serve as gatekeepers for new research. These journals review and analyze the new information and will only publish findings they find trustworthy and up to their standards.
This process is called Peer Review and a journal’s reputation depends on it. Here’s how it works…
Dimitri and Denise have conducted a study on soil quality that they believe will help farmers. With the study complete, they write an article explaining the study’s goals, methods, findings and recommendations, and submit the paper to the Journal of Soil Quality.
The journal then assembles a panel of experts or “peers” who specializes in soil to read the article, without knowing who wrote it, and investigates the team’s information. It’s this panel of experts who decides if Dimitri and Denise’s article meets or exceeds the standards for publishing in the journal. The peer reviewers may accept the paper and recommend it for publishing, request changes before accepting it, or reject the paper completely. It’s this peer review process that helps ensure only credible information is published in the journal.
Dimitri and Denise’s article was accepted by the panel with minor revisions and published for future reference. Unlike blog posts, books or even newspaper articles, peer reviewed journals use a rigorous process designed to make trustworthiness and credibility the highest priority.
When doing research, keep peer reviewed journals and articles in mind because they’ve done the hard work to establish what research can be trusted and their work can save you valuable time.
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