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CO 480 Research: Peer reviewed sources

Peer reviewed sources

When looking for your mathematician's research, the best types of sources to look for are peer reviewed research articles - articles written by your mathematician describing their work.

Peer review process

Peer review is the process of having subject matter experts evaluate the work of other researchers before publication. Researchers will write up their work and send it to a journal. If the journal editors think that the paper meets their subject area criteria and standards, the journal editors send the paper to other experts for review. Only if the work is deemed to be quality research does it get accepted for publication.

Only academic journals (and some conferences in the computer sciences) publish peer reviewed work. Magazines, for example, might publish articles written by people with specific subject area expertise, and those articles may be edited by people with expertise as well, but they do not undergo the same level of critical evaluation as academic journal articles. 

The peer review process. Step 1: conduct research. Step 2: Write it up. Step 3: Send to journal. Step 4. Journal sends to other researchers. Step 5. They check to see if the methodology is valid and if the conclusions are accurate. If the paper is accepted you can then find it in a research database.

Checking for peer review

To determine if an article has been peer reviewed, you need to investigate the journal title it was published in, not the article title itself.

  1. Consult the journal's website. If it conducts peer review, it will mention this and describe their process.
  2. Check the Ulrichs database for the journal. Search the journal name and check to see if it is marked with the referred (peer reviewed) symbol.

 The Ulrichs search results page showing the black book peer review symbol beside the American Mathematical Monthly journal entry.