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Stage 5

Academic Sources

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  • Means other experts in the same discipline, such as Psychology, Biology, Art, Theater, review the written research for faults or errors.
  • These experts do not know who the other judges are.
  • The journal editor knows everyone and hides that information.
  • The aim is so people don't judge people, but judge the written research.
  • If the judges vote YEA, the journal will print that article.

What's the point?

  • Without peer review in industry, science, and academia, everyone would have to test every piece of information every day.
  • New headache medicine? better run the tests yourself because no one else would have.
  • Air bags work? Better hit something and test them, because no one else did.
  • Most of your day is surrounded by items, ideas, and objects that were tested by others to be efficacious or effective.

Why do I need to know this?

  • Most of your research papers in other courses will have a rubric that says you must use x number of peer reviewed articles.
  • In your BA years, you will be reading peer-reviewed articles weekly for classes, because the newest peer reviewed articles are the most up-to-date useful information in any field of study, months if not years before that information makes it into a new volume of a textbook.
  • In a graduate program, you'll have to be able to write like this.

I do not trust you

  • I cannot trust you.
  • Research is based on other research and citations, not on trust for trust's sake.
  • That's why you have to cite your sources.
  • That's why scientific research must be replicable by other scientists.
  • That's why you have to include peer-reviewed articles in research.

How to Find Peer-Reviewed articles

How much to read

  • Academic articles can be difficult to read because of specialized language specific to a discipline. Think of eating the bread to a sandwich: the top, the bottom, and nothing in between. Read like that:
    • The introduction
    • Discussion and/or summary and/or conclusion
  • After you have a better understanding of the articles, then you can skim/read the middle part of the article.