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Scientific Writing

Library resources to support writing and citing in the sciences


Peer-reviewed or refereed?

Both peer-reviewed and refereed journals ARE scholarly journals. The difference lies mainly in the way article review is conducted and the intended audience of a journal.

Peer-reviewed journals

  • Articles in a peer-reviewed journal must pass the strict review of three or more "peers" who are experts in the field or on the research topic of the article.
  • Audience of the article is always the scholarly reader.

Refereed journals

  • Articles in a refereed journal have to be reviewed by "referees" who are experts in the field who are not members of the editorial staff or board.
  • Refereed articles are not as rigorously evaluated as peer-reviewed articles.
  • In many cases the article has been subjected to a blind review process by one or more external readers who are not associated with the editorial board of the journal.
  • Audience of the article may be the scholarly reader OR the general public.