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Publishing your research: Peer Review

Peer Review

A publication is considered scholarly if it is authored by academic or professional researchers and targetted at an academic or related audience. Its aim will be to advance knowledge on a topic as well as report on or support research needs. Before being considered for publication most scholarly articles will be refereed or peer-reviewed by experts working largely in the subject field.

This means that the article will undergo an official editorial process that involves review and approval by the author's peers (people who are experts in the same subject area.). Refereeing practices vary between journals. Generally articles are evaluated by two independent assessors, who are looking for originality, validity and quality. This is usually done anonymously.

Why is peer-review important?

The process of peer-review seeks to maintain the quality and integrity of the content published in a particular journal. Your track-record of publication in peer-reviewed journals can be an important factor when applying to funding bodies for research funding.

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How do I know if a journal is peer-reviewed?


  • Ulrichsweb, a directory of 300,000 journals, is a valuable source of information on journal titles. Search this database by journal title and a peer-reviewed journal will have a "refereed" icon  Refereed  or a “peer-reviewed” icon Reviewed  next to its title.
  • To limit search results to peer review journals in Ulrichsweb, use the Advanced Search to search by title / subject, click on  More Limiters select the Key Feature: Refereed/Peer-reviewed. (The terms Refereed / Peer-reviewed are used  interchangeably by Ulrichsweb).  
  • Alternatively, use the filter on the left hand side to limit your results to peer review journals
  • Click on a journal's title for more information about the journal, including whether or not it is peer-reviewed –  see Additional Title Details which also gives contact  details for the editor.
  • Information may also be included in an editor's 'aims' statement at the front of the journal itself.
  • Some indexing databases only index the contents of journals that are peer-reviewed. For example Web of Science.

Use Ulrichsweb to:


Use Ulrichsweb to identify peer-reviewed journals and to:

  • Is the journal peer-reviewed?
  • What is the start year of the journal?
  • Where is it indexed?
  • Is it indexed by citation databases Web of Science and Scopus?
  • Does it have an imapct factor? Look out for Journal Citation Reports under the heading Key Features.
  • Is the journal current?
  • Who is the publisher?
  • Who is the editor?
  • How often is it published?

Track your peer review activity with Publons


Publons is a free service that makes it easy for researchers to track and demonstrate their impact as authors, journal editors, and peer reviewers, in one place.

For more information see this guide from Clarivate Analytics which includes short videos on how to register and create your profile on Publons.