If you are searching databases of journal articles you are likely to find that one of the ways in which you can limit your search is by restricting items retrieved to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) journals.  But if you do this, which journals are you narrowing your search to and why might you wish to do so?

The aim of peer review is to assess the quality of articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal.  Before an article can be published in a peer reviewed journal it must go through the following process:

  • The manuscript is submitted by the author to the editor of the journal
  • The editor then sends this to experts in the field who, because they specialise in the same area, are considered to be the author’s “peers”.  In some cases the author’s identity is known to the reviewer but sometimes the articles undergo “blind peer review” which means that the author’s identity is not revealed, or even “double blind peer review”,  where both the author and reviewers names are concealed.
  • The reviewers must carefully ensure the quality of the manuscript.  They will check for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures.
  • If appropriate, the reviewers will suggest revisions.  Once the author has undertaken any revisions the manuscript will be resubmitted and if no further revisions are requested it will be accepted. If they find the article is lacking in scholarly validity or rigour they will reject it.

Because of the rigour of this process, articles that are accepted for publication are deemed to exemplify the best practices in a research field. Peer reviewed journals therefore tend to have a high impact factor and be highly ranked.

Examples of peer reviewed journals include:

  • Academy of Management Review; Journal of Marketing; California Management Review; Strategic Management Journal; Human Resource Management; MIS Quarterly; Journal of Finance.

Many peer reviewed articles in business and management journals will follow a similar format and include:

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All will have an abstract and references.

You may be surprised to find that some journals which are highly thought of and frequently seen to be thought leaders are not peer reviewed!  Two of the most prestigious of these are Harvard Business Review and McKinsey Quarterly.

If you have any questions about peer reviewed journals or any other aspects of your research, please do not hesitate to contact MIRC.

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