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Research Articles and Peer Review: What is a refereed journal?

Refereed materials

Refereed materials are publications reviewed by "expert readers" or referees prior to the publication of the material. After reading and evaluating the material, the referee informs the publisher if the document should be published or if any changes should be made prior to publication. Refereed materials are also referred to as Peer Reviewed. Refereed materials are significant to the research and the literature of most academic fields because they assure readers that the information conveyed is reliable and timely.

Non-refereed materials

Non-refereed materials such as Trade Journals or Magazines use less rigorous standards of screening prior to publication. In some publications, each article may be only screened by the publication's editor. While knowledgeable, no editor can be an authority on all the subject matter printed in a journal. Other non-refereed materials accept almost anything submitted in order to have something to print.

The term "scholarly materials" is often used to describe refereed materials, but this term is not exclusive to refereed material. Non-refereed materials may not by scrutinized as intensely as refereed materials, but they can still be considered scholarly.