Peer review

Peer review: definition

One of the key elements of the publication process is refereeing or peer review. This is the primary safeguard in scholarly communication which aims to ensure that research findings have been verified by other experts working within the same discipline. So central is the role of refereeing and peer review to scholarly publication, that it has come to define the status of an academic journal.

The peer review or refereeing process can apply to nearly all forms of scholarly communication, but the most rigorous approach (and therefore the most time consuming) tends to apply to academic journals and book publications (whole monographs or chapters in edited works).

The importance of peer review is not only to establish the accuracy of research findings, but also to gauge their importance within the discipline. Journals with a high impact factor will inevitably attract a large number of manuscript submissions. It will be the job of the editor and referees to decide whether a manuscript is of suitable importance to be published by a prestige academic journal title.

Not all manuscripts submitted to a journal will get as far as peer review. Only a small proportion may pass the editor's initial scrutiny.

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PILOT - Communication by Marion Kelt, GCU, Imperial College, London and East Midlands Research Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.