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Publishing a Scholarly Article: Peer Review

This guide walks you through how publishing works, including choosing the right journal, the process of peer review, and what to expect if and when your paper is accepted for publication.

What is Peer Review?

Peer review is the formal process scholarly journals employ to ensure that a manuscript's writing, methodology, arguments, and conclusions are sound. Peer review has long been a marker of quality that sets scholarly articles apart from popular articles (like those you would find in a magazine or newspaper).

Check out the video to the right for more information on peer review!

Tutorial: Peer Review

Peer Review Infographic

The Peer Review Process Infographic

Things to Know

  • After submitting a manuscript to a journal, the first person you will be in contact with will likely be the editor. The editor should let you know next steps as well as an estimated timeframe for when you'll hear back.
  • The peer review process can take months – or even years! Reviewers are usually working academics, so they are not typically expected to complete a review in a week, for example. Be patient, but you can typically contact the journal editor if you have questions.

Bad News

Unfortunately, not all manuscripts are accepted for publication. If yours is rejected, you have options:

  • Rework the manuscript and submit it to the same journal again.
  • Submit it to another journal, possibly one with a higher acceptance rate or lower impact factor/ranking.