A term for delineating credible academic journal
There are thousands of journals out there, young researcher— which one to cite
? There's the Journal of Alternative Realities
and the International Journal of Parapsychology
, as well as the New England Journal of Medicine
. If you couldn't guess, the NEJM is more credible (you're likely to fail the course if you cite one of the other two) and is the only one of the three that is peer reviewed.
What is a peer review? Well, it's an anonymous selection of "experts
" in whatever field you're working in who read the article before it goes to print, eliminating mistakes and making sure the discoveries are legitimate. Which does make it a bit odd that "alternative sciences
" rarely ever peer review when you think that the "peers" would likely agree with whatever conclusions.
Emphasis, in most empirical science journals (like Nature
, Physics Review
.) is on verification of results and looking toward underlying assumptions that could have biased the data. The emphasis in less empirical disciplines is more on breaking new theories or unearthing obscure miscellanea. Even though the International Journal of Art and Design
is peer reviewed, these sorts of journals tend to have more lax reviewing.
Which isn't to say that stringent review plugs all the holes of academic fraud
. Jan Hendrik Schon
managed to get 15 papers past peer review at the prestigious Nature and Science journals, only to be revealed as a massive fraud.
Another problem is that peer review tends to ossify consensus within scientific fields, due to the self-affirmation bias of reviewers. This is almost the total range of the field of scientific cultural studies
, which move from Foucault
's examination of the excluded as a critique of reason
in order to question scientific assumptions.
Still, it is generally held that the benefits of peer review outweigh the detriments. In fact, by voting one way or another on this node, you're taking part in a peer review process. Enjoy the power