Peer review is the term for an article that has gone through a specific process in order to be published.  It means that prior to being published, the article was reviewed by scholars in that field and it met the journal's criteria for publication, which usually means it was evaluated for credibility, originality and value.

chart outlining the peer review process

The peer review process [Online image]. Elsevier. Retrieved Septemeber 23, 2015 from http://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/what-is-peer-review

This process is designed to ensure that journals publish high-quality and reliable articles to share new knowledge with the discipline and the world. Discussion of articles continues in professional societies and forums after publication; if errors or inaccuracies are later discovered, the article may be withdrawn. Articles may also lose relevance over time as further knowledge is created.

View this brief video from NCSU Libraries for an excellent overview of the peer review process.

 

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