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HORT 4099 Horticulture Capstone

Course guide for Hort 4099 and a great starting place for research.


Professors will ask you to use peer-reviewed articles in your research, but do you know what peer-reviewed actually means? The peer-review process is much more rigorous than the review of newspaper or magazine articles. The three-minute video below, from North Carolina State University, describes the peer-review process. 

How Do I Know if an Article is Peer-Reviewed?

How can you tell whether a work is peer-reviewed? First, there are certain clues in the article itself:

1. Author credentials: She is an expert in the area she is studying and has a degree (PhD, for example) and a job (in academia or a research institute, think-tank, hospital, etc.) that relies on that expertise. When in doubt, Google the author!

2. Publisher: Usually the journal will be published by a scholarly society, university press, or major scholarly publisher like Elsevier, Springer, Taylor and Francis, Wiley, etc. When in doubt, Google the journal title! 

3. References: The authors of peer-reviewed articles will show you where they got their information from, either in the form of footnotes at the bottom of each page or a bibliography/endnotes at the end of the article.

4. Look: Peer-reviewed journals have a plain appearance. If they contain images, they tend to be figures, charts, and other images critical to understanding the research. 

5. Language: The authors of peer-reviewed articles are writing for experts in their field, so the language is dense and discipline-specific. 



If you found the article in a library database, there may be some indicators as to whether the article is scholarly:

You might find that the journal name is a hyperlink as shown below. Clicking on it takes you to a page about the journal which should make it clear whether the journal is peer-reviewed. Look for the terms scholarly, academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed.

If you found the journal article on the web, try Googling the journal title. Usually somewhere in the description or the instructions for authors, it will mention whether there is a peer-review process.

Note that an article can be from a peer-reviewed journal and not actually be peer reviewed. Editorials, news items, and book reviews do not necessarily go through the same review process. A peer-reviewed article should be longer than just a couple of pages and include a bibliography.

Research Articles and Review Articles Defined Review

"A research article is a primary source...that is, it reports the methods and results of an original study performed by the authors. The kind of study may vary (it could have been an experiment, survey, interview, etc.), but in all cases, raw data have been collected and analyzed by the authors, and conclusions drawn from the results of that analysis.

review article is a secondary is written about other articles, and does not report original research of its own.  Review articles are very important, as they draw upon the articles that they review to suggest new research directions, to strengthen support for existing theories and/or identify patterns among existing research studies.  For student researchers, review articles provide a great overview of the existing literature on a topic.   If you find a literature review that fits your topic, take a look at its references/works cited list for leads on other relevant articles and books!"

From, "What's the difference between a research and a review article?"

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