Every day students come to the library looking for peer-reviewed articles. Sometimes they say the articles have to be refereed or juried, other times they say it has to be scholarly or professional. Whatever the term, we understand what they’re looking for, but I often wish students had a better grasp of what peer review is and why it’s important, even as this hallmark of scholarly communication comes increasingly into question.
Wikipedia, often at the center of controversy in questions of authority, actually has a pretty good entry on peer review. Pay close attention to the section on the weaknesses and failures of peer review. For more authoritative coverage of the topic, see Nature’s Peer Review Debate.
If you’re reading this because you just want to know how to find peer reviewed sources in the library databases, stop by the reference desk at any time the library is open and we’ll show you how. (You can also call us at 201-200-3033.)